2:18 PM | Posted in
Why can't the Democrats seem to get anything done in Congress?

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12:15 PM | Posted in , ,
Well, given the fact the Minnesota legislature is out of session (which means far less entertainment from Mark Olson) and Michele "Fool for Christ" Bachmann has avoided doing anything too particularly egregious (Although, Dump Bachmann does have a couple of interesting articles on Michele voting against Native American Small Business Owners and Defunding the National Endowment for the Arts), I thought it might be interesting to do a little comparison showdown.

Minnesota has two freshman representatives (Tim Walz (D) and Michele Bachmann (R) ). Now that we have completed 6 months of service, how do these two stack up in terms of legislation sponsored/cosponsored and other interesting factoids?

Legislation Sponsored/Co-Sponsored:

Tim Walz (D) has either sponsored or co-sponsored 168 Bills.

Some of his highlights include:

Sponsor

2. [110th] H.R.2179 : To amend title 38, United States Code, to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to establish traumatic brain injury centers.
Sponsor: Rep Walz, Timothy J. [MN-1] (introduced 5/3/2007) Cosponsors (1)
Committees: House Veterans' Affairs
Latest Major Action: 5/3/2007 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs.


3. [110th] H.R.2691 : To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide additional incentives for facilities producing electricity from wind.
Sponsor: Rep Walz, Timothy J. [MN-1] (introduced 6/12/2007) Cosponsors (6)
Committees: House Ways and Means
Latest Major Action: 6/12/2007 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.


Cosponsor

22. [110th] H.R.2 : To amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to provide for an increase in the Federal minimum wage.
Sponsor: Rep Miller, George [CA-7] (introduced 1/5/2007) Cosponsors (222)
Committees: House Education and Labor
Latest Major Action: 2/1/2007 Passed/agreed to in Senate. Status: Passed Senate with an amendment by Yea-Nay Vote. 94 - 3. Record Vote Number:42.

25. [110th]
H.R.5 : To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to reduce interest rates for student borrowers.
Sponsor: Rep Miller, George [CA-7] (introduced 1/12/2007) Cosponsors (211)
Committees: House Education and Labor; Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Latest Major Action: 1/17/2007 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

31. [110th]
H.R.67 : To amend title 38, United States Code, to improve the outreach activities of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep McIntyre, Mike [NC-7] (introduced 1/4/2007) Cosponsors (32)
Committees: House Veterans' Affairs; Senate Veterans' Affairs
Latest Major Action: 5/24/2007 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs.

34. [110th]
H.R.327 : To amend title 38, United States Code, to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to develop and implement a comprehensive program designed to reduce the incidence of suicide among veterans.
Sponsor: Rep Boswell, Leonard L. [IA-3] (introduced 1/9/2007) Cosponsors (152)
Committees: House Veterans' Affairs; Senate Veterans' Affairs
House Reports: 110-55
Latest Major Action: 3/22/2007 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs.


Michele Bachmann has either sponsored or co-sponsored 49 Bills.

Some of her highlights include:

Sponsor

H.R.636
Title: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to improve health care choice by providing for the tax deductibility of medical expenses by individuals.
Sponsor: Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] (introduced 1/23/2007) Cosponsors (56)
Latest Major Action: 1/23/2007 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

Cosponsor

9. [110th] H.RES.268 : Supporting responsible fatherhood, promoting marriage, and encouraging greater involvement of fathers in the lives of their children, especially on Father's Day.
Sponsor: Rep McIntyre, Mike [NC-7] (introduced 3/26/2007) Cosponsors (57)
Committees: House Education and Labor
Latest Major Action: 6/27/2007 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Healthy Families and Communities.

24. [110th] H.R.997 : To declare English as the official language of the United States, to establish a uniform English language rule for naturalization, and to avoid misconstructions of the English language texts of the laws of the United States, pursuant to Congress' powers to provide for the general welfare of the United States and to establish a uniform rule of naturalization under article I, section 8, of the Constitution.
Sponsor: Rep King, Steve [IA-5] (introduced 2/12/2007) Cosponsors (108)
Committees: House Education and Labor; House Judiciary
Latest Major Action: 6/5/2007 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education.

42. [110th] H.R.2380 : To make the repeal of the estate tax permanent.
Sponsor: Rep Hulshof, Kenny C. [MO-9] (introduced 5/17/2007) Cosponsors (103)
Committees: House Ways and Means
Latest Major Action: 5/17/2007 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

*If you are keeping score, Tim has sponsored or co-sponsored over THREE times more legislation than our very own Michele Bachmann. While it should come as no surprise to anyone that has done any investigation into Michele, she has been jumping on board legislation that does little more than tow the line of Neo-con philosophy. None of these bills furthers the day to day interests of voters in the Sixth District and I hope her opponent will exploit these points often to expose this woman as the partisan hack she is.

Other points of interest:

*Tim sits on THREE committees along with SIX subcommittees while Michele sits on ONE committee and only THREE subcommittees. So, while sitting on twice as many committees, Tim is able to sponsor or cosponsor three times more legislation. My question is, what are we in the Sixth District paying for?

*Tim has missed 4 votes to Michele's 7. Granted, both are average to above average numbers, but when coupled with Michele's light committee schedule and lack of legislative work one really has to wonder how someone could miss almost twice as many votes as a guy with twice the committee schedule and three times the legislative work.

*Also, as I have noted here before, Michele cannot even seem to get her own biography right.

*Finally, it is important to note that even Jim Ramstad (186 sponsored/cosponsored bills) and John Kline (81 sponsored/cosponsored bills) are able to get some work done in this Democratic controlled congress. So, Michele, what are you doing?

*It looks like the 1st District got a great deal and the 6th District got the shaft!
9:44 AM | Posted in ,
Recently Rich Dunn, Michele's Chief of Staff, indicated that Michele is working hard "to keep our country safe." A recent article in the St. Cloud Times makes me wonder if THIS man is graciously helping in that "fight".

Isanti man arrested in biased assault case
Times staff report
Published: June 25. 2007 12:37AM

A 33-year-old Isanti resident was in Stearns County Jail on Sunday in connection with a report of a fourth-degree gross misdemeanor biased assault charge.

According to a police report, Phillip Joseph Massa approached a 26-year-old St. Cloud man as he was leaving a prayer mosque at about 2:15 p.m. Saturday in the 600 block of Seventh Avenue South.

Massa accused the man of being a Muslim terrorist and threw a punch that missed. Massa then shoved the man and elbowed him in the side of the head, dislodging the victim's glasses.

When the victim called 911, Massa fled the scene but was apprehended about six blocks away.

Massa also fought with officers at the jail and is expected to be charged with obstructing legal process.

*All kidding aside, a debate in this country needs to be had about the seriousness of these types of crimes. I am a firm believer in the Freedom of Speech and this man's right to speak and think like a simple minded moron are the consequences of that freedom. However, when you act upon your beliefs in a manner that indicates pure hatred of not only a single person but an entire race, religion, or lifestyle it should be treated as if you attacked that entire race, religion, or lifestyle. Your Freedom of Speech ENDS when violence enters into the equation.


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11:41 PM | Posted in
Mark Olson, Representative for District 16B, believes in a lot of things (drinking water cures cancer, diabetes is curable, evolution is false, and 'placing' your wife on the floor is acceptable conflict management) but of those "interesting" things I find something else Mark talks about particularly puzzling. This past session he spent a good deal of time trying to derail International Baccalaureate programs in the state.

While I understand it should be the mission of all people to denounce higher order thinking and intensive programs that make one analyze beyond ones own experiences, I don't understand how a man with no credentials in education and no experience beyond high school gets to be the poster child of that mission! Okay, sarcasm aside,

Here is his speech on the House Floor:



This message is on Mark's campaign web page:

International Baccalaureate
By Rep. Mark Olson

International Baccalaureate (IB) program is an internationally established education program for schools worldwide. It has already been implemented in several states, including Minnesota. This years Omnibus Education Finance bill expands this program.

Like the Profile of Learning from the 1990s, this program has come with its share of controversies.


*Is that share of controversy coming from your friends at Edwatch or someone with actual valid information? Also, does this controversy extend to the Newsweek's Top Schools in America that uses IB as one of its criteria for a "successful" school?

Based upon citizens input that:

IB curriculum undermines American principles of self-government; copies of the actual IB curriculum were formally requested from bill authors. These copies were never provided.


Question for Mark:
How does research and learning of varying people, perspectives, and governments "undermine" our principles? Are "our" principles so weak that we cannot defend them against opposing viewpoints in an educational setting?

The K-12 Finance Committee testimony involved some very passionate students, parents and educators, but there was not the necessary detail and facts to assure this will consistently be a program that preserves America. We learned that IB emphasizes writing. Others stated that it makes one think critically, and really understand the world around them. But shouldn't these points be true for all programs?

Other parents and organizations expressed concerns about this program. In the most significant case IB has been identified as promoting anti-American values and philosophies because of its curriculum (which was not provided). Tragically, researching IBO documents has shown these most serious concerns for preserving America to be true.


Question for Mark:
What are anti-American values? I value a lot of things I know you do not and I am an American as well. Am I less of an American because I have different "values" than yourself? When did "preserving" America require the stifling of opposing viewpoints?

The Mission Statement of International Baccalaureate is as follows:

The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.

These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

*Now, at a cursory glance, I can understand where Mark might have a problem with IB given the fact that they are trying to create understanding among cultures. I mean who needs THAT! However, I don't see anywhere in this Mission Statement a provision to oppose the beliefs and philosophies of the United States of America. Granted, they may want to teach kids about the theories and beliefs of other governments (which I understand can be a scary thing!) but I am not certain that IB is seeking to bring down the 2nd Amendment or your right to hate gay folks.

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4:53 AM | Posted in















Early Bachmann challenger makes case

By Lawrence Schumacher,
lschumacher@stcloudtimes.com
Published: June 24. 2007 12:30AM

A Sauk Rapids native and son of a former Cathedral High School principal is the first person to signal a challenge to U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., next year.

Bob Hill, a Stillwater lawyer and first-time candidate, said in an interview Friday with the Times he will abide by the DFL Party's endorsement process as he seeks to challenge Bachmann to represent Minnesota's 6th Congressional District.

So far, Hill is the only candidate seeking that endorsement. He also said he might seek a cross-endorsement from the Independence Party, noting that opposition to Bachmann must be unified to have any chance of defeating her.

Minnesota Reform Party founder and former U.S. Sen. Dean Barkley has said he is considering a run for the 6th Congressional District under the Independence Party banner, but only if DFLers choose to endorse him instead of fielding their own candidate.

Hill said he's focusing on Bachmann, who he called "an extremist" and "in the pocket of multi-national corporations that have no interest in Minnesota."

"She is an unrelenting supporter of George Bush," Hill said of Bachmann.

*Unrelenting supporter? Bob may have been a bit more polite than I would have. I would describe Michele as more of a lapdog. Even better, a giddy school girl ready to do whatever the "star quarterback" asks her.

The 6th Congressional District covers all or most of Anoka, Benton, Sherburne, Stearns, Washington and Wright counties, including the St. Cloud area.

Hill noted that he grew up in Central Minnesota and retains connections to the area, despite moving to the East Coast earlier in his career and later settling in Stillwater.

As a public interest lawyer, Hill gained notoriety for representing an ex-FBI agent who won a whistle-blower lawsuit earlier this year.

Voters elected Bachmann, a former Stillwater state senator, to her first term in 2006 with slightly more than 50 percent of the vote in a three-way race.

Rich Dunn, Bachmann's chief of staff, said Bachmann was working hard "to keep our country safe and to fight for Minnesota values" and wasn't focused on politics.

"She voted to protect taxpayers from one of the largest tax hikes in American history, and she's helping to put our nation's fiscal house in order through measures like the balanced budget amendment," he said. "Her legislation to make health care more affordable and available for working families has attracted bipartisan support."


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11:17 PM | Posted in
Apparently yesterday was "bizarro world" day in the United States Congress as Michele Bachmann testified in favor of new federal programs for educating foster children.

Let us examine the inconsistency, or in Bachmann's world, the twisted consistency:

From the St. Cloud Times:

“If anyone needs a leg up in life, it is foster children,” she told a House Ways and Means Committee panel on income security and family support. “They are great kids. They just want to know that somebody loves them.”

Bachmann suggested that Congress create a federal program
that would give foster parents the option of sending children to public or private schools.


Isn't this the same woman that said she was "a strong supporter of LOCAL control for our schools"? Well yes, but if you notice, her aversion to federal programs and mandates is trumped by her ongoing quest to denigrate and dismantle the public education system in this country. Her longtime support from organizations such as Edwatch and Alliance for the Separation of School and State that seek to end public schooling in the United States is well documented. So, this is not out of sincere belief that she tries to create this program but out of a strategy to chip away at our longstanding free public school system.

From the St. Cloud Times:

As a foster parent, she testified, Bachmann was not allowed to send her foster children to private school.

Bachmann said many of her foster children suffered because they were not challenged at school or expected to succeed. She testified that one of her foster kids said she was placed in a “stupid people math” class.

I haven't been able to find any state statute or rule stating that foster children are "not allowed" to attend private school. However, on St. Cloud Times Story Chat I found this authoritative answer:

23.

hickchick from the sticks

Comment Posted: 6/20/2007 9:44:23 AM


I can think of two reasons why she wasn't "allowed" to send her foster kids to private schools. First, she would have had to pay the tuition with no funds from county or state to reimburse her. In that case it's not that she wasn't allowed to, it's that she wasn't willing or financially able to pay for it herself. The second possible reason it that education choices for foster kids are made by a team consisting of some or all of the following: foster parents, social workers, guardian ad litem, birth parents, and the foster kid themselves. If the team decides it isn't in the childs best interest to go to a private school, then they don't go. Although foster parents are told to treat the child as their own, many things have to have the approval of the entire team.



From Bachmann's Legislative website:

"I believe it’s critical for Congress to create a federal school choice program for foster children, providing an option to stay in the same, stable school environment, regardless of where they are placed. In Congress, I will continue working to ensure that these children have stable learning environments where they feel accepted and can fully realize their potential."

Good job Michele, you keep plugging away at the public school system!

Please remember, this entire paragraph is code for:


I believe it is critical for Congress to create a program drawing money away from the public school system and placing it in the hands of private schools such as the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. In Congress, I will continue working to destroy the public school system in America as instructed by my good friends at Edwatch and Alliance for the Separation of School and State. You see, only in a private religious school can I effectively indoctrinate these children about such "myths" as evolution.




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1:09 PM | Posted in
This is interesting...

My crazy congresswoman is none other than gay marriage crusader, global warming denier, President fondling Michele Bachmann. It makes me sad every day that I have no sane representation in the House of Representatives. Michele, or someone on her staff, really ought to check out her congressional bio because there are some fairly glaring errors.

Is there any way to kick the woman out because of these inaccuracies?

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress

BACHMANN, Michele, (1956 - )

BACHMANN, Michele, a Representative from Minnesota; born in Waterloo, Buchanan County, Iowa, April 6, 1956; graduated from Anoka High School, Anoka, Minn., 1974; B.A., Winona State University, Winona, Iowa, 1978; J.D. Oral Roberts University, Tulsa, Okla., 1986; L.L.M., College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Va., 1988; lawyer, private practice; attorney, United States Treasury Department; member of the Iowa state senate; elected as a Republican to the One Hundred Tenth Congress (January 3, 2007-present).

The last time I checked Winona State University was located in Minnesota! Also, if Michele was a member of the Iowa State Senate what in the world was she doing spending all that time in the Minnesota State Senate. There has got to be some course of action we can take because if she was not really in the Minnesota State Senate than she has been lying through her teeth to her constituents about all her accomplishments in that body. Furthermore, this seems to make her ineligible to serve the 6th Congressional District of Minnesota as she was not really a resident of Minnesota but rather of Iowa. I say let Iowa have her!


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12:02 AM | Posted in
My political interest began at a relatively young age. I can recall casting my first vote in a grade school mock election. The year was 1984, and I proudly proclaimed my support for Ronald Reagan (I was a naive young man!). Democrats and Republicans were meaningless terms at that point but the foundation had been laid for an obsession that has only grown.

In 1992, I watched with increasing interest as Bill Clinton took on George Bush. My reasoning skills being far more advanced than before, I began to understand what each party stood for and began identifying myself as a democrat. Did I really understand the whole thing? Probably not, but Bill Clinton seemed to make a lot of sense.

As I have grown older, gone to college, and begun my career I have become increasingly liberal (mostly in respect to social issues).

Now we come to my current situation.

I live in one of the most conservative (mostly in respect to social issues) congressional districts in the country. Amazing in the state that brought us great liberal names such as Humphrey, Mondale, and Wellstone. This Blog is an attempt to vent my frustrations about local conservative craziness. I will post on national craziness as well but my hope is to highlight some of the local craziness that strangely enough moves me ever farther to the left on nearly every issue.
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