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January 2, 2007

Pat Robertson speaks to God... was Michele in on the conference call?

Scary messages from God, according to His confidant / bff, Pat Robertson:

Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson cited communications with God in predicting Tuesday that horrific terrorism aimed at the United States will result in "mass killing" during the second half of 2007.

"The Lord didn't say nuclear, but I do believe it'll be something like that — that'll be a mass killing, possibly millions of people, major cities injured," Robertson said.

"There will be some very serious terrorist attacks," he added. "The evil people will come after this country, and there's a possibility — not a possibility, a definite certainty — that chaos is going to rule." Robertson did not say where the terrorism would occur.

Ruh-roh... I'd be worried, if I thought God really talks to Mr. Robertson. Based on his past track record, however, it looks like Mr. Robertson needs a divine hearing aid, or else God is playing some nasty practical jokes on him. This is a guy who predicted Bush would win a second term in a "blowout"; he ended up getting 51%. He also claimed that Bush's second term would be a "triumph," and we can see how well that's going (record low approvals, a do-nothing Congress, escalating chaos in Iraq... you get the picture.) And Mr. Robertson's meteorology skills seem to be a little rusty, as well:

Robertson said last May that, "If I heard the Lord right about 2006, the coasts of America will be lashed" by "devastating" storms and "vicious hurricanes." He also predicted that "there well may be something as bad as a tsunami in the Pacific Northwest."

Heavy rains over New England caused serious flooding last spring. But no hurricanes hit the U.S. coast in 2006 and only two tropical storms made landfall on the U.S. mainland.

No tsunami struck the Pacific Northwest, although various parts of Washington state saw record-setting rains, floods or drought during 2006, said Josiah Mault, the assistant Washington state climatologist.

Will Michele Bachmann be dialing God on His personal line to chat about Mr. Robertson's divine information? Will God fill her in on the details that he neglected to offer Mr. Robertson, so she can prevent the terrorist attacks?

As a reminder, here's Michele speaking about her personal conversations with God back in October...

In the midst of that calling to me, God then called me to run for congress. ....

In the midst of him making this calling sure, what's occured in this particular race is that this congresssional seat - one of 435 in the country - has become one of the top 5 races in the country and in the last week has become one of the top three races in the country and you may have seen now God has in his own will and in his own plan has focused like a laser beam after this scandal that came up about a week or so ago he has focused like a laser beam with his reasoning on this race.

Michele, can we get a tape-recording this time? Some specifics would be nice. Ask God about the lottery numbers, too, while you're at it.

November 8, 2006

Bachmann brings in out-of-state "Christian nationalist" home-schoolers to campaign

I hate on the Minnesota Daily a lot, because, frankly, it is a terrible newspaper, but their article on the CD6 results contained a very interesting tidbit:

One group called Gen J, or Generation Joshua, rallied middle school and high school students to pass out campaign literature and call voters for Bachmann.

Patrick Henry College (Virginia) journalism senior Adrienne Cumbus is a volunteer leader for Gen J. Originally from Houston, she said she came to support Bachmann because the candidate doesn't try to appeal to everyone - instead, she knows her own values.

"She's very articulate in what she says," Cumbus said. "She's not sitting on the fence."

I did some research on this Generation Joshua. Start out first at their website: What is Generation Joshua?. Generation Joshua is an organization born from the Home Schoolers' Legal Defense Association, a group that purports to represent all American home-schoolers... but not every home-schooling family feels represented. Some believe that the organization has become nothing more than a publicity and money-making front for its founders, and many take exception to the legislative agenda of the organization, which runs far beyond the bounds of home-schooling issues to issues like gay marriage, abortion, and even the Chemical Weapons Treaty (!):


"The more non-homeschooling issues homeschooling groups are associated with, the more negative opinions you cultivate, and you take on unnecessary risks that could hurt what should be your primary task: protecting homeschoolers...unless it's of vital interest and a homeschooling issue, don't stick your neck out." While HSLDA's full agenda "may be worthy of your interests, it is a catch-all for conservative... issues, and it paints us all with that brush."

-Will Shaw, long time homeschooler,
state homeschool lobbyist and
founder of the Virginia Home Education Association

The organization has been linked to the Christian Reconstructionist movement through its founder, Michael Harris, a former attorney for the Moral Majority and unsuccessful Republican candidate for Lt. Governor of Virginia in 1993. The Christian Reconstructionist movement is scary:

The Dominion theology movement places Judeo-Christian biblical law above any and all constitutional law, including the U.S. Constitution. "Postmillienialists believe that righteous human beings, essentially servants of Christ, must achieve positions of influence in societies in order to prepare the world for the Messiah's return."

In his excellent 1996 book, With God on Our Side, William Martin used a sampling of the views of several noted Reconstructionists to give a sense of how a Reconstructed America would be: "The federal government would play no role in regulating business, public education, or welfare [S]ome government would be visible at the level of counties but citizens would be answerable to church authorities on most matters subject to regulation income taxes would not exceed ten percent - the biblical tithe - and social security would disappear [P]ublic schools would be abolished in favor of home-schooling arrangements, and families would operate on a strict patriarchal pattern. The only people permitted to vote would be members of 'biblically correct' churches. Most notably, a theonomic order would make homosexuality, adultery, blasphemy, propagation of false doctrine, and incorrigible behavior by disobedient children subject to the death penalty, preferably administered by stoning a reconstructed America would have little room for Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, atheists, or even non-Reconstructionist Christians. 'The Christian', one Reconstructionist author has asserted, 'must realize that pluralism is a myth R.J. Rushdoony, also regards pluralism as a heresy, since, in the name of toleration, the believer is asked to associate on a common level of total acceptance with the atheist, the pervert, the criminal, and the adherents of other religions."

Generation Joshua's political goals are similar to their parent organization's: "Our goal is to ignite a vision in young people to help America return to her Judeo-Christian foundations."

The group is mentioned in this Salon article, which describes them as "an organization ... that trains college kids to make Christian nationalism palatable to the MTV generation, [attempting] to take a " 'firm, solid Biblical worldview' and [translate] it into 'terms that the other side accepts.' "

Here are the extremely well-informed political views of one precocious, intellectually independent teenager, expressed in an almost Bachmann-esque stream of eloquence:

"We took the church out of the state, but you've still got that thing of our founding fathers were Christians and they put God in the government and the way things have gone now, it's just gone almost," Kaity says.

But, Kaity also says the group doesn't form her opinions for her.

"I'm not an uneducated kid," she says. "I'm not going to base what I believe on mere opinion. I'm going to research it and I'm going to look things up [ed.: In the Bible?] and look at both sides of an issue and make an informed decision based on what I believe and not what my parents tell me."

The HSLDA PAC has a page up detailing the group's planned efforts for Bachmann. Apparently all travel was reimbursed for these volunteers and their families:

Travel Compensation

Travel to, from, and during the Student Action Team will be compensated. ALL RECIEPTS MUST BE SUBMITTED TO THE FOLLOWING ADDRESS BY NOVEMBER 21, 2006. NO EXCEPTIONS.

HSLDA PAC
PO BOX 3000
Purcellville, VA 20132

Someone should check into the legality of this... I have no specific legal reason to doubt it, but it seems kind of fishy. At the very least, it seems to me ethically dodgy that the PAC of the entire home-schooling association would be used to pay for the tenuously-related political activities of its daughter group.

The page also includes this reminder:

Note: Under no circumstances can unrelated students room with a chaperone.

Probably a prescient move, given the recent troubles of the religious right.

Wikipedia has more information on Generation Joshua, and this local media story gives a good inside look at a "Gen J" chapter.

October 9, 2006

Bloggers debate on radio

This past Saturday, there was a debate on the Northern Alliance Radio Network with Jeff Kouba of BvW and Eva Young of DumpBachmann. You can listen to it here.

I was invited at the last minute to participate in the debate, but unfortunately I was unable to. I am listening to it right now, and it got pretty ugly. I wish I had been there to get my perspective in. Eva was there with another perspective on Bachmann, but she was holding her own against three stridently pro-Bachmann, anti-Wetterling voices. Every caller to the show was pro-Bachmann, and Andy Aplikowski of BvW called in not once but twice to weigh in. I guess he was miffed because he wasn't invited on the show.

There were definitely some cheap shots thrown against Patty Wetterling on the show. One host (Michael Brodkorb of MDE, I believe) snidely remarked that Patty didn't know where Iran or Venezuela was. Then a crazy woman called in claiming that Patty Wetterling's foundation has a sexual predator working on her staff who molested her son, something I've never heard before and that I think would be pretty big news. Luckily the hosts cut this woman off.

Another woman calls in at the end ranting about the "creepy" photoshop pictures on Dump Bachmann and personally attacking Eva-- she even said she should "come out of the closet" and support Wetterling, and said that people dislike Bachmann because she's a "god-fearing Christian."

I did appreciate when a caller claimed that Patty Wetterling wants to take away Second Amendment rights, and Eva and Jeff both pointed out the statement on Patty's website that she wholeheartedly supports the right to bear arms.

Semantics

Good LTE in the Star Tribune:

Black, Republicans playing word games

Published: October 09, 2006

Eric Black's Oct. 6 article regarding Patty Wetterling's political ad on the Mark Foley scandal serves only to parse the word "coverup."

The fact is that the Republican leadership knew of the existence of these e-mails for at least a year and did not discipline Rep. Foley.

Nonfeasance (dereliction of duty) is a poor turn of phrase for such an act, and Black does a disservice to the public by calling the event anything less than hiding information from the people to protect the power of one of their own.

And that, Mr. Black, is a coverup, whether the Republicans wish to call it one or not.

BRAD BAGLEY, ST. PAUL

On a similar note, from another good post by Eric Zaetsch at DB...

The admission of the factual accuracy is an admission of circumstances most people would call a coverup. Black was splitting hairs when he applied a standard of "confession" as opposed to admitting actions which constitute a coverup. Actions speak louder than words, and when undisputed, actions can show words to be self-servingly false; as with Hastert and Reynolds.

...and a link to a Media Matters piece which lays out the evidence for a cover-up.

To paraphrase a famous comment by Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart:

"I can't define 'cover-up,' but I know it when I see it."

Most Americans seem to take this view. 52% of Americans believe there was a cover-up with regards to the Foley matter.

And on another front, 53% of Americans "believe that the Bush administration purposely misled the public about evidence of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction to build support for the U.S.- led invasion to oust Saddam Hussein."

It would appear that the Republicans have a cover-up problem on their hands.

Is this really the time for semantics?

September 26, 2006

Michele Bachmann and MDE

MN Publius made the discovery today that Michael Brodkorb, who runs the blog Minnesota Democrats Exposed, has done "research" for the Michele Bachmann campaign. He was paid $5500 on August 3rd, according to FEC disclosure reports. Brodkorb did not disclose this relationship, though MN Publius points out that is not illegal.

So, let's see:

Bachmann basically pleads the Fifth on the NRCC smears, thus tacitly endorsing them.

She puts out press releases filled with similar distortions (Wetterling will raise your taxes. Wetterling is skipping debates.)

She hires Michael Brodkorb, a professional Republican hit man, to do "research" for her campaign.

Add that up, and you see that Michele Bachmann is running a negative campaign that is not focusing on the issues, despite her claims to the contrary.

Get ready for NRCC, DCCC ads

Tom Scheck of Polinaut has been visiting the various metro TV stations and has the goods on who's spending what where:

The NRCC is investing a boatload of money in the race in support of Bachmann. The public files at KSTP-TV, WCCO-TV and KARE-11 say the NRCC is spending $1,192,275 for 863 ads between today and election day.

Get ready for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to follow suit. They're scheduled to run 256 ads between October tenth and election day on WCCO-TV and KARE-11 at the total cost of $771,175.

Maybe the DCCC is getting ripped off, or they're targeting their ads in primetime. It seems the NRCC is getting a lot more ads for their money, but the time slot does matter.

Mr. Scheck has also seen the new NRCC ad, which repeats the lie that Patty Wetterling will raise taxes on the middle class.

I just saw the ad on KSTP-TV. The National Republican Congressional Committee ad basically tells viewers that Wetterling will raise your taxes if she's elected. Here's the text from the ad :

"Patty Wetterling just doesn't get it. Lowering taxes helps families and creates jobs. Yet Patty Wetterling opposes making our tax relief permanent that means higher taxes on working families. It means reducing child tax credits and it means bringing back the marraiage penalty. And bringing back the death tax on family businesses and farms. It's clear, Patty Wetterling means higher taxes. She's wrong. The National Republican Congressional Committee is responsible for the content of this advertising."

This lie has already been addressed. Patty Wetterling has NOT proposed eliminating all of the Bush tax cuts. In fact, she has her own plan for middle class tax relief. The only people who would see their taxes increase are those who benefited disproportionately from the Bush tax cuts-- the wealthy.

But the indirect Bachmann-Wetterling exchange on taxes reflects a common disconnect in the discourse on this point this election year.

Wetterling and most Democrats do not favor the expiration or repeal of the Bush tax cuts as they apply to middle-class families.

The standard Democratic position this year is that only those in the top 1 or 2 percent of income earners should see their tax rates revert to the pre-Bush levels. You can argue against that on the basis of economic stimulus and how it indirectly benefits working families.

But apparently there is a broad bipartisan consensus that the $50,000 family of four should keep the benefits it has received under the Bush cuts.

-Eric Black

Why does the NRCC feel the need to fill every ad they run with baseless smears? Can't Michele Bachmann run on her record? (Oh, that's right... she hasn't accomplished anything...) Couldn't they at least go with the standard smears of Democrats... you know, things like,

"Patty Wetterling will ban the Bible!"
"Patty Wetterling will make abortion mandatory!"
"Patty Wetterling will come to your house and forcibly marry your 13-year-old daughter to an iguana!"
"Patty Wetterling will take away your gun and send it to her best bud, Osama bin Laden!"

What ad can we expect next from the liars at the NRCC?

More on the GOP smear campaign

LA Times: Negative Ads a Positive in GOP Strategy

"When people are looking at national issues that are not breaking our way, what you want to do is focus on your opponent," said Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), a former Republican National Committee chief of staff. "You've got to play the field's conditions. They demand very tough tactics."

Cole spelled out that approach in a recent strategy memo to House Republicans: "Define your opponent immediately and unrelentingly…. Do not let up — keep the tough ads running right up to election day. Don't make the mistake of pulling your ads in favor of a positive rotation the last weekend."

Republican incumbents this year began running attack ads earlier than ever. But the hardest-hitting are yet to come.

"You haven't seen the majority of the negative ads yet," said Carl Forti, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, where a staff of 10 has been deployed on opposition research.

Tom Cole has donated to Michele Bachmann's campaign via his COLE PAC.

September 23, 2006

More bad press for Bachmann and the NRCC

Good for the Strib. Eric Black says what I said yesterday about the latest dishonest NRCC flyer claiming that Patty Wetterling is helping to ship jobs overseas.

A new flier sent to homes in the Sixth Congressional District this week accuses DFL congressional candidate Patty Wetterling of complicity in shipping American jobs overseas.

This is based on the argument that Wetterling is accountable for the actions of the companies whose stock is owned by mutual funds in which Wetterling has invested.

The flier also ignores the fact that Wetterling's Republican opponent, Michele Bachmann, likewise owns shares in mutual funds that own shares of companies that have shipped U.S. jobs overseas.

There is a ridiculous quote from Jonathan Collegio, the same guy who defended the claim that Patty "failed to vote" in the election in 2004 when in fact she voted in both the primary and the general elections.

Collegio of the NRCC: Bachmann's holdings are not relevant because "the mailer is not about the Republican candidate."

September 22, 2006

Another blatantly dishonest NRCC smear

Dump Bachmann has the images of the latest NRCC smear against Patty Wetterling. Here's the text:

"Shipping American jobs overseas hurts American workers. [...] PATTY WETTERLING IS HELPING LOAD THE SHIP. Patty Wetterling's financial disclosures reveal that she has had a financial interest in companies that outsource jobs overseas or employ cheap labor overseas."

The two sources listed for this claim are Patty's filing with the U.S. Senate (apparently from when she was in the running for the Senate nomination) and this list from Lou Dobbs of CNN of companies that are "exporting America":

These are U.S. companies either sending American jobs overseas, or choosing to employ cheap overseas labor, instead of American workers.

Well, guess what? I took a look at Michele Bachmann's financial disclosure form from the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board. Listed there are several mutual funds. I took the first one, American Funds Capital World Growth and Income and looked it up. I randomly selected a company from the top of the list, Aetna, Inc., of which the fund owns 2 million shares worth almost $80 million.

Then I checked it against Lou Dobbs' list. Guess what? Aetna is EXPORTING AMERICA! Michele Bachmann has a financial interest in "exporting America!"

That is just one example; I'm sure a detailed search through the records of Bachmann's funds and holdings would result in literally hundreds more.

Here's another: Michele Bachmann has taken contributions from PepsiCo's PAC; Pepsi is listed on Lou Dobbs' list. These AMERICA-EXPORTERS are funding her campaign!

I can't believe the hypocrisy. I hope the media spreads the word about this smear, as well.

September 20, 2006

NRCC smear backfires

The NRCC has sent out at least three mailings (here's the third) claiming that Patty Wetterling "failed to vote in three elections." The AP does some checking and finds that it's a damn dirty lie:

The National Republican Congressional Committee claimed in a brochure sent to 6th District voters this week that Democratic candidate Patty Wetterling failed to vote in three big election years, including 2004.

The hitch? Wetterling voted in both the primary and general elections that year, when she made her first run for Congress in the suburban and exurban district.

NRCC Press Secretary Jonathan Collegio cited Wetterling's voting record from the Minnesota Secretary of State's office, which shows no evidence of her voting in a March 2004 presidential preference ballot.

But that's because there are no official voting records on anyone from that ballot, which was conducted by the political parties at precinct caucuses, said Kent Kaiser, a spokesman for the secretary of state's office. News reports said scrap paper and Post-It notes were used as ballots in some busy precincts.

Wetterling accused Republicans of lying about her voting record.

"They're trying to say that I didn't vote for myself in '04," she said in a prepared statement issued Tuesday. "I think the 6th District knows better than to believe that."

This was a BS attack from the start. The other elections (2000, 2002) were primary elections. I didn't vote in the primary this year; less than 16% of Minnesotans did. I hope this doesn't disqualify me from running for public office.

In all likelihood, a majority of those who prepared this ad didn't vote in the primaries, either.

And, please-- not voting in the nonbinding "presidential preference ballot" at the caucuses?

Collegio on Wednesday said the NRCC won't back off its claim. The record shows that Wetterling didn't vote in the 2000 or 2002 primary elections.

"If Patty Wetterling wants to produce documentation showing that she did in fact vote in the 2004 presidential preference ballot, then we will take a look at it," he said.

I did vote in this ballot in 2004. Of course, there will be no record of this, because we voted on slips of paper. The ballots were counted by hand and, to my knowledge, a person's vote was not recorded anywhere.

Patty Wetterling should sue the NRCC for libel.

September 18, 2006

Smear campaign begins

Dump Bachmann has been covering the anti-gay lit piece sent out by the NRCC to smear Patty Wetterling. It says that Patty "failed to vote in 3 elections" on the front, and when you turn it over, there's a picture of a wedding cake with two grooms and the text,

"But There's One Vote Patty Wetterling Would Make..." "Liberal Patty Wetterling is against a Constitutional Amendment to ban gay marriage. (St. Cloud Times, 10/20/04)" "You'd think protecting marriage would be a piece of cake, but obviously Patty Wetterling's "hometown" values aren't like ours."

I just received a tip that there's another NRCC hit piece circulating, using the same format ("Patty Wetterling didn't vote in 3 elections, but there's one vote she will make...") and then making the claim that she would "raise taxes." I'd be interested in seeing this piece, so scan it if you have it and send it here.

September 12, 2006

The man behind the curtain

I am still interested in the story about the GOP's strategy for the midterms, namely to avoid the issues and spend millions attacking Democrats on "personal issues and local controversies." Josh Marshall has a post on the guy who's going to be running this attack campaign, Terry Nelson. He's been involved in two big GOP scandals (that we know of): the New Hampshire phone-jamming case and the Tom DeLay money-laundering scandal.

Marshall ends by warning,

Everything is on the line for these guys. So be prepared for literally anything over the next sixty days.

September 11, 2006

New campaign meme: "Vote Republican or DIE"

Actually, this is the strategy they've been using since 9/12/01. But never has it been stated as explicitly as this...

Yep, it's come to this: If you don't vote for the pro-war candidate in your district, you will die. That's literally the message in a new ad that a conservative think tank, The Center For Security Policy, has now released in time for the fifth anniversary of Sept. 11. The ad shows images of the burning Twin Towers and Americans held hostage and concludes by flashing on the screen: "Vote as if your life depends on it. Because it does."

TPM Cafe has the video. The ad is not currently scheduled to run in Minnesota, but we can expect something similar (though perhaps phrased a bit differently) from the Bachmann campaign.

September 10, 2006

Here come the attack dogs

Talking Points Memo today finds an article in the Washington Post outlining the GOP strategy for the midterm elections:

Republicans are planning to spend the vast majority of their sizable financial war chest over the final 60 days of the campaign attacking Democratic House and Senate candidates over personal issues and local controversies, GOP officials said.

The National Republican Congressional Committee, which this year dispatched a half-dozen operatives to comb through tax, court and other records looking for damaging information on Democratic candidates, plans to spend more than 90 percent of its $50 million-plus advertising budget on what officials described as negative ads.

The hope is that a vigorous effort to "define" opponents, in the parlance of GOP operatives, can help Republicans shift the midterm debate away from Iraq and limit losses this fall.

Minnesota Republican Watch also quotes this WaPo article, and finds that the NRCC is dumping money into the Sixth District race, quoting Polinaut:

The groups will run a total of 946 ads on WCCO-TV between October third through election day. The groups won't say which races they're targeting but it's safe to say the DSCC will run ads on behalf of Amy Klobuchar, the DCCC will probably run ads on behalf of Patty Wetterling and the NRCC will run ads on behalf of Michele Bachmann. Bachmann and Wetterling are running for Congress in Minnesota's Sixth Congressional District. …

The National Republican Congressional Committee will run 396 ads on WCCO between October third and election day at a cost of $579,100.

Put those two facts together, and it sure looks like some nasty attack ads are coming in the two months before the election.

This is the Minnesota Democrats Exposed style of politics: dig up any dirt you can on your opponent, no matter how irrelevant or scurrilous the allegations. Fling mud rather than debate policies. It's despicable.

Unfortunately for the Repubs who would attempt this strategy in the Sixth, there doesn't seem to be too much dirt on Patty Wetterling. I can't think of anything damaging the Republicans were able to find on Wetterling in the '04 campaign. Even MDE, currently (probably) the person most responsible for lowering the level of political discourse in Minnesota, hasn't been able to dig up anything on Wetterling. His website used to have a link to an "upcoming section" called "Patty Wetterling Exposed"; after remaining empty for the entire summer, it appears to have been removed from the site completely. Of course, having no basis for attack ads never stopped a Republican from running them: the craven Mark Kennedy, lacking ammo for personal attacks, still ran ads implying that, because Wetterling accepted money from MoveOn, she supports Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden.

Patty Wetterling, the person, is a saint in Minnesota. That may or may not translate into victory for Patty Wetterling, the Democrat, in the most Republican district in the state. But any attempt to smear Patty Wetterling will backfire.

July 13, 2006

Going negative

A local conservative blogger gets word of a Patty Wetterling child-safety event tomorrow and proceeds to call Patty a "whore" and a "pimp":

I hate people that whore their tragedies. Kid gets killed and you have to camp out at the President's vacation grounds. Mom dies of cancer and you have to go on a crusade against tobacco companies. [...]

I personally feel there are more things that should be looked at with more scrutiny when assessing the person's character...namely a character that would pimp one's tragedy or use the tragedy of others for one's own political gain.

Cashing in on your celebrity is another thing. An example of this is how Coleen Rowley uses her position in the FBI and her created celebrity as a "whistleblower" to draw attention to her campaign. (Details at the link above.) Basically making appearances under the guise of being "not a part of" one's campaign during a campaign. Typical politicians do it all of the time (and that does not make it right or palatable) when they show up at places as the Representative so it is not campaigning even though they are running for a different office.

To me the level of depravity by the person is directly correlated to the importance of the cause to remain non-political. Do it for a Save the Humpback Beatle awareness seminar and it is bad but not bordering unethical. Do it for a Save the Children from Incest Session and it is bordering on reprehensible.

Now enter Patty Wetterling.

Patty Wetterling to Host Session on Child Internet Safety

ANOKA, MINN. - Patty Wetterling will lead a one-hour information and discussion session on child internet safety at Northtown Library in Blaine on tomorrow, July 14. The public is welcome to attend. Wetterling will suggest ways to keep children safe while using the internet, and will provide an update on internet safety legislation. Detective Jeff Rokeh from the Anoka County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigation Division will also be present. Wetterling and Detective Rokeh will invite attendees to ask questions and participate in a discussion.

This is politicizing an issue that should not be politicized. Worse than that is Wetterling is not even willing to admit this to be a campaign event which means that the effort is to deceive the public. [...]

Wetterling is preying on the fact that Joe Q Public will go, "Hmm, this is not a campaign event and it is an important issue. That Patty is willing to sacrifice her campaign to help this important cause."

Legal? Yes.
Commonplace? Too much so...in fact this particular race will see this done to the nth degree because both candidates have very little regard for anyone but their own career and both candidates have very little, if any, decency or honor.
Should we accept it? Hell no.

Patty is politicizing an issue that should be left unpartisaned (check the OED for that one please). The result may be a short term bump for her ("oh, she REALLY cares about children"). The long term result is that this issue will get less attention that it deserves because once politicians have an issue they rarely can help the issue.

Patty...the best thing for you to do is cancel this event so that it can be an American issue instead of a political one.

Hmm. Well, he does have a point... important issues such as child internet safety should really be nonpartisan. But the post implies, using extremely insulting language and rhetoric, that this is an issue that Patty has recently discovered and hopes to use to further her own career. This is just patently false. Patty Wetterling has spent a substantial portion of her life since her son Jacob was abducted dedicating herself to the safety of children and families. Is this blogger suggesting that Patty Wetterling has spent the last 17 years as a tireless advocate for children solely in order to get herself elected to Congress? That is just tasteless and ignores all the facts.

Patty decides to hold a talk on internet safety for children. Well, she's running for office, so of course it's political. It's also practical and useful, as evidenced by the Anoka County Detective who will be present. This isn't just some George Bush-style "look at me with the Katrina victims, see, I do care" photo op. Patty Wetterling has spent three presidential administrations learning about this stuff, lobbying Congress, and advocating for children. She's an expert. So to accuse her of being a "pimp" and a "whore," to say that she is "deceiving the public," and to say that is just plain despicable.

(Of course, I should note that the person making these accusations isn't one of the foaming-at-the-mouth Bachmann addicts. He's no fan of Michele Bachmann, either.)

May 15, 2006

Sheer wankery

I'm sorry, but the Bachmann v, Wetterling blog is just silly. Come on, guys, let's get original. By my count, they've repeated Tarryl Clark's "devil in the blue dress" quote no less than 5 times in the past 3 days. They've made approximately two "substantive" posts on the issues of the race; most of the rest are hypocritical rants about Patty's/Democrats' "partisan rhetoric" and "vitriol."

One writer goes so far as to say,

[T]he vitriol of this race will be coming from the DFL, not the Republicans or Senator Bachmann.

Hmmm... well, here's some vitriol... can you guess which side this guy's on?

Dumb Fuc*ing Liberal (DFL) State Senator Tarryl Clark Attacks Senator Michele Bachmann "'Michele is the devil in a blue dress, and Patty is a saint,' state Sen. Tarryl Clark, DFL-St. Cloud, said in a nominating speech." (Patrick Sweeney, "DFL Endorses Wetterling In 6th District," Pioneer Press, May 14, 2006) Just goes to show the wonderful world of "The Party of Hatred & Intolerance" the DFL. Patty is a card carrying MoveOn whacko moron. And a liar to boot.

(via Dump Michele Bachmann)

And what about this guy? He was rallying for Michele's anti-gay amendment in 2004.

So was this guy:

I think there will be rhetoric and vitriol on both sides.