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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.

The GOP Revolution Already Eating Its Own

8:00 pm in Conservatism, LGBT, Politics, Republican Party by Phoenix Woman

"After I eat this gay guy, you're next, Latinos!"

John Boehner’d better enjoy the Republican retaking of the House while he can, because the Republican base is collapsing under his feet in a take-no-prisoners feeding frenzy:

The latest flashpoint is a fight over the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, which regularly draws thousands of activists — and would-be presidential candidates — to Washington each February. At issue is the presence of the gay Republican group GOProud, which was (along with many other groups) a co-sponsor of last year’s CPAC and will play a similar role this year.

In response to GOProud’s role, the American Principles Project announced last month that it was opting out of CPAC, asserting that the gay group’s “purposes are fundamentally incompatible with a movement that has long embraced the ideals of family and faith in a thriving civil society.”

Several other groups have now joined the American Principles Project, and the conservative news website WorldNetDaily has been pumping up the boycott story every chance it gets.

It certainly is — and if this story is any indication, Joseph Farah, WND’s editor, is seriously throwing down against CPAC and its organizers, the American Conservative Union or ACU:

(ACU is also currently struggling through an embezzlement scandal, in which the ex-wife of ACU Chairman David Keene is suspected of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the organization. Diana Carr, ACU’s former bookkeeper, was fired in January 2010.

Nobody from ACU was available to comment, as the organization’s offices are closed for the holiday season.

Remember, this is all about CPAC’s admitting a group that broke off from the Log Cabin Republicans because they thought the LCRs were “way too liberal”. Ahem. And of course, it doesn’t help CPAC that the Family Research Council, one of the leaders of the anti-CPAC revolt (and which has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center), has its own rival conservative knuckle-dragger conference, the Family Values Summit, which stands to gain attendees as CPAC loses them.  . . . Read the rest of this entry →

Heinousness Upon Heinousness

9:20 pm in 2010 election, Elections, Government by Phoenix Woman

Vintage postcard c. 1943 (image: naslrogues via Flickr)

The most politically heinous event to occur this week in the state of Minnesota? Hmmm, that’s a tough one.

There’s the But But But We Really Didn’t Mean It When We Said We Didn’t Like Pork Award for the Republican dingbats of the Duluth News-Tribune’s editorial page, who are shocked, shocked to find that the teabagger they favored over Jim Oberstar, Chip Cravaack, considers their sacred holy airport to be pork. Morons.

Then there’s the Blatant Pitch To Racist Fans from the teabagger queen herself, Michele Bachmann, who claims without evidence that the black farmers who won the long legal fight against the USDA are fakers and frauds. Keith Ellison, bless him, actually called her what she is: a liar. Would that the StarTribune was so bold, or so honest.

But I think that this week, so far, the prize goes to Tim Pawlenty, for this brilliant Jeremy-Giefer-related move brought to light courtesy of City Pages‘ Nick Pinto:

Pawlenty’s defenders have argued that there’s no way the Board of Pardons could have known that Giefer was was dangerous. In his letter to the board, Giefer [the guy Pawlenty pardoned who was having sex with his wife when she was 14 and is now accused of raping his own daughter since she was 9] presented himself as a devoted family man whose mistake was nothing more than meeting his wife-to-be when she was a bit too young.

But the Board should have known Giefer wasn’t all sweetness and light. For one thing, he’d pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct two years earlier for verbally assaulting the Vernon Center Chief of Police. The Board was aware of the incident, because it was mentioned in the first paragraphs of the cover letter in his file.

So, to recap:

1) Jeremy Giefer, when he was 19, knocked up a 14-year-old girl and earned a statutory rape conviction as a result — but since he later married the girl, he didn’t really suffer any social stigma over it.

2) Jeremy Giefer is now accused of (and in jail over) repeatedly raping his own daughter — the product of his sex with a 14-year-old who became his child bride — starting when she was nine years old.

3) Jeremy Giefer wanted the 2008 pardon so his (now a presumed adult) wife could run a daycare center. Anyone who wonders why this might be a bad idea should Google “daycare” and “molesters” together.

4) Oh, and did I mention the out-of-wedlock child by another woman, the disorderly conduct conviction, or the vile prank committed against another young woman?

How in the hell did this guy get pardoned? Who wanted him pardoned, and why?

I don’t have a clue, but Bluestem Prairie’s on the case. If anyone can find out, it’d be Sally Jo Sorensen.

The Emmer Cat’s out of the Bag: Or, Who Would Jesus ID?

7:45 pm in Uncategorized by Phoenix Woman

What Would MVA-Approved Election Judge Jesus Do?

Scuttlebutt locally has been that one reason the Republicans Tony Sutton and Tom Emmer will almost certainly break Emmer’s promise to “not participate in using the law just to delay things” when the recount’s done is because they want to see how many bad and evil bills they can get Pawlenty to sign with a brand-new Republican-controlled state legislature at his disposal, or if the skeevilly-prolonged Governor Gutshot will screw us all out of the Medicare buy-in with the new lege’s help. A e-mail recently sent out by the Republican-aligned mandatory-voter-ID group Minnesota Voters Alliance, or MVA, to its members lends some backing to this belief.

From the e-mail:

Dear Friend of Freedom,

For several years The Minnesota Voters Alliance has been working toward a PHOTO ID requirement for voting. The November election has provided a GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY to implement PHOTO ID statewide. With a republican controlled legislature, it will be much less difficult to get this vital voter protection measure passed – regardless of who the governor is!

We are working closely with Representative and former Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer, who serves on our Board, to take a multi-faceted approach:

1. Introduce a bill for statewide PHOTO ID as a first priority. If Governor Pawlenty is still in office in January, he would undoubtedly sign it. If Dayton wins and is seated sooner rather than later, we are already preparing a campaign to urge him to sign the bill, including our PHOTO ID petition in St. Paul which we have nearly 3,000 signatures.

2. We have already begun laying the groundwork on a constitutional amendment to introduce PHOTO ID to the voters statewide to vote on. 82% of last Rasmussen poll support PHOTO ID requirement for voting. The Governor DOES NOT have to sign a constitutional amendment; it goes from the legislature directly to the voters!

The fact that Mary Kiffmeyer is a prominent backer and advisor to this group shows how tightly connected it is to the Republican power structure in Minnesota. Here’s why: . . .  Read the rest of this entry →

Tim Pawlenty Did WHAT?!

12:21 pm in Politics, Republican Party by Phoenix Woman

Minnesota's Gov. Tim Pawlenty (photo: marcn via Flickr)

The power to pardon is a powerful thing, and often a useful instrument of mercy, particularly for those persons who have suffered enough from the poisoned fruits of their own misdeeds. But when the person pardoned goes on to re-offend, controversy erupts. So it is with Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s Pardon Extraordinary of Jeremy A. Giefer.

Sally Jo Sorensen reported in Bluestem Prairie this past Sunday that Giefer, who had earlier this month been arrested on criminal sexual conduct and incest charges, had been pardoned by Pawlenty in 2008 for his 1994 sex crime of statuorily raping and impregnating a 14-year-old girl:

Did the Minnesota Board of Pardons conduct its due diligence when it granted Jeremy A. Giefer a “pardon extraordinary” in 2008? (Giefer’s name is misspelled on page 4 of the report, but a call to the BOP’s office on Wednesday confirmed the correct spelling).

Giefer’s arrest reveals a troubling past of dubious behavior–while raising eyebrows on the pardon during Pawlenty’s watch. Pawlenty is a member of the three person board.

Sorensen goes on to remind us that Tim Pawlenty had promised never to pardon sex offenders, who are known for their high recidivism rates.

It gets worse: CityPages’ Nick Pinto, following up on Sorensen’s story, confirmed that the girl who Giefer is currently charged with raping is none other than the daughter he had himself conceived with the underage girl back in 1994.

The fashionable thing around the web is to compare this case to that of Willie Horton. But unlike Tim Pawlenty, Michael Dukakis never promised not to pardon sex offenders. No, the case that resonates in my mind is that of Wayne Dumond. Read the rest of this entry →

Emmer and Pawlenty, Courting the Neocon(federates)

5:49 pm in Uncategorized by Phoenix Woman

Last year, I noted how, in his effort to get the powerful neoconfederate wing of the Republican base to back his presidential bid, Minnesota’s absentee governor, Tim Pawlenty, was sending out a veritable symphony of dog whistles to the fans of the Stainless Banner.

Now, we see from a look at the state legislative record of his protégé and would-be successor, Tom Emmer, that Gutshot Tim isn’t the only neoconfederate fan running loose these days. MN Observer of The Cucking Stool has the scoop

— here’s just one of the dozen-odd Constitutionally-questionable shout-outs to the Confederacy she documents:

House File 998 (chief author) Once again setting up his Tenther cred, this proposed legislation – if passed – proclaims Minnesota’s sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment:

[T]he State of Minnesota hereby claims sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States, and that this resolution serves as notice and demand to the federal government as our agent to cease and desist, effective immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally delegated powers.

Even setting aside the fact that this reads like something straight out of the South Carolina Causes of Secession, this is just weird. What’s the state supposed to do? Send some creepy cease and desist letter whenever a Minnesotan receives Social Security benefits? Force its farmers to turn down farm subsidies (good luck with that one)? Require that MNDOT refuse federal highway funds?

That, folks, is just the tip of the iceberg from this longtime corporate trial lawyer.

At the end of the recitation, MN Observer finishes with this summation of Tom Emmer as a legislator and a lawyer:

All in all, what we see in these proposals is… what? A candidate who seems capable of only defining freedom in terms that benefit people who look and think just like him, it seems. A candidate willing to let one of the world’s most stable governments with intricate checks and balances to be undercut by radical proposals that pander to extremist elements. A candidate who slept through the vast majority of his Constitutional Law classes, if nothing else.

And that is that.

Gutshot Tim Pawlenty Leaves Minnesota Bleeding: Justice System Edition

7:33 am in Uncategorized by Phoenix Woman

Ho-hum. Another day, another story on how Governor Gutshot’s leaving Minnesota bleeding and alone deep in the woods:

Galen Robinson has devoted much of his quiet legal career to taking on landlords who don’t return deposits and lenders who target low-income people who are in a financial bind.

On Monday, the legal aid attorney known for his trademark ponytail will aim a little higher — a state Supreme Court showdown with lawyers for Gov. Tim Pawlenty, whom Robinson is suing over unilateral cuts to a state nutrition program for the ailing poor.

Robinson and his small legal team are challenging a signature political move of Pawlenty’s, that, if the challenge succeeds, could dial back the governor’s budget-cutting authority and lay down a bolder line between legislative and executive powers.

Here’s the deal: In the run-up for his 2012 presidential bid (and as a continuation of the same behaviors adopted when he was tongue-polishing John McCain’s shoes in the hope of getting onto the 2008 ticket), our illustrious governor has been cheerfully and dictatorially taking an ax to what remains of the wonderful infrastructure that made Minnesota the envy of America when I was a child. And he’s doing this even as he plays cash-skimming games with the "Support Our Troops" license plate fees that would have got him impeached if he weren’t a Republican.

As the Robinson lawsuit hints, the deliberate wrecking of what makes Minnesota work may well be most dangerous where the state’s legal entities are concerned. How badly has GOP presidential wannabee Tim Pawlenty messed with Minnesota’s judicial system during his time as absentee governor of the state? His own former best buddy and partner in the now-defunct Rider Bennett law firm, Eric Magnuson — the guy he made Chief Justice of the state Supreme Court just two years ago — is now one of his biggest public enemies, stepping down from the court in June after having spent most of his time on the court fighting with Gutshot over the slashing budget cuts Pawlenty instituted in Minnesota’s justice system.

Pray for us — we have a Republican governor who thinks he can be president come 2012. Until he’s finally out of the governor’s mansion for good, there’s no limit to the harm he can do in the chase for Republican primary voters.

Governor Gutshot to Impoverished ER Patients: Get the Hell out!

7:45 pm in Uncategorized by Phoenix Woman

Dog bites man. Sun rises in east. Tim Pawlenty plays "kick the starving poor person (who’s probably black anyway) to win the CPAC vote":

Appearing on Fox News’s "On the Record with Greta Van Sustren" last night, Pawlenty said the federal law that mandates ER treatment should be repealed.

"Well, for one thing you could do is change the federal law so that not every ER is required to treat everybody who comes in the door, even if they have a minor condition," Pawlenty said. "They should be — if you have a minor condition, instead of being at the really expensive ER, you should be at the primary care clinic."

Supporters of the federal law would contend that many people go to ERs precisely because they do not have the insurance to pay for a primary care physician.

As usual, my absentee governor, in his bid to win the votes of the evil heartless racist yahoos known as "Republican base voters", goes the extra mile in terms in venality, stupidity, ignorance and inhumanity.

That Federal law that Governor Gutshot complains about? It already allows emergency rooms to turn away persons with non-emergency health conditions (h/t mcjoan). But he either doesn’t know, or doesn’t care — or quite possibly both — which is funny as hell as he used to run a law practice with his former good buddy Eric Magnuson, who he appointed as Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court two years ago. (I say "former" because Chief Justic Magnuson has himself become disenchanted with his former law partner’s fiscally-hostile attitude towards Minnesota’s justice system.)

If the 2012 Republican presidential primary can be described as a race to the bottom, ethically, morally and intellectually, then Gutshot’s working hard to stake out the Challenger Deep.

Governor Gutshot’s Grotesque Legacy: Minnesota Trashed

6:38 pm in Uncategorized by Phoenix Woman

The similarities between Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s abandonment of his deer in northern Minnesota and his departure from the office of governor of this state couldn’t be more striking. He leaves both of them gut-shot and wounded.


Minnesotans got another reminder of the damage wrought by Governor Gutshot (h/t to Spotty for that moniker) in last Friday’s paper:

The last person Gov. Tim Pawlenty may want to see rising to speak these days is Tom Stinson, a slightly hunched-over figure with a monotone delivery who, nonetheless, is much in demand.

For two decades Stinson has been the state’s economist, delivering good news when times were fat and bad news that once led Gov. Rudy Perpich to claim he could do a better job because Stinson was too pessimistic.

In an office piled high with economic charts and devoid of a single picture, Stinson these days is delivering an even more unpleasant dose of news that once again puts him at odds with the state’s top elected official.

Minnesota faces a never-before-seen "structural budget deficit" that reaches far into the future, Stinson warns — a phenomenon wrought by an aging workforce and slowing revenue growth that will hamper the state’s ability to provide the services taxpayers have come to expect. There are no short-term answers, he said, and no single approach, such as tax increases or spending cuts, will by itself solve the problem.

That ominous message sets Stinson, a contract employee who earns $101,271, squarely against Pawlenty, who rapidly is becoming a national figure largely on the strength of his no-taxes, leaner-government philosophy.

It gets worse, both for us and for Gutshot. Per Stinson, the only reason things aren’t much worse is because of the Federal stimulus money Obama sent our way — stimulus money that Smilin’ Tim, eager to curry favor with Republican primary voters for 2012, pooh-poohed heavily even as he helped himself to it.

This is not the message our absentee governor wants following him around as he tries to talk up what a lovely job he’s done to the Iowa caucus voters.

For years now, Pawlenty’s been able to pull off the Artful Dodge of causing horrific budgetary problems, in classic Grover Norquist style, yet avoid being blamed for them. But no amount of smiling or mullet-tossing or hockey-stick-waving will get Governor Gutshot out of this one. The deer he’s wounded has left a trail a mile wide, and it leads straight back to him.

Smilin’ Tim Pawlenty’s Doubletalk on Health Care Reform

7:43 am in Uncategorized by Phoenix Woman

Like Sarah Palin, Tim Pawlenty is a Republican governor with Presidential aspirations who had an opinion column appear in a major national newspaper. Unlike what is suspected of Sarah Palin, he probably did write the thing all by himself. However, that doesn’t mean it still wasn’t full of horsepucky. He talks about how wonderful Minnesota’s health care systems are — but doesn’t mention the slashing cuts he’s made to them. For that, you have to go to sites like MN2020, where Elizabeth Rich writes the following:
Read the rest of this entry →