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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Welcome MPR Readers

MPR references Dump Michele Bachmann in a post about Keith Ellison calling Michele Bachmann on her bigotry.

Bachmann told the St. Cloud Times that it was an "unfair characterization" of her remarks. The folks at Dump Bachmann (who obviously don't support Michele Bachmann) uploaded video so you can watch what she says for yourself here.

Bachmann may have to explain her comments tomorrow morning. She's scheduled to appear on MSNBC's Morning Joe at 7:30 Central. She is also scheduled to attend a debate with DFLer Elwyn Tinklenberg on Monday night.

As mentioned earlier, the St Cloud Times reported:

But as negotiations between the Bush administration and Congress continued, she also defended herself against reports that she had blamed the financial crisis on a federal program that gave home mortgage loans “on the basis of race and often on little else.”

“It was an unfair characterization of my remarks,” the 6th Congressional District Republican said of a published item in Roll Call newspaper. “I read a portion of an article critical of the Community Reinvestment Act, which I’m not a fan of. They were not my words.”

It doesn't matter whether they were her words, or someone elses. She read pieces of this article into the congressional record to support her views.

On MPR's blog, predictably Michele Bachmann apologist, Craig Westover defends Bachmann with a long comment avoiding the issue.

The response to Bachmann’s remarks, the reading of an article into the record, is the “Argument from Intimidation” tactic. “Argument from Intimidation” is a logical fallacy supported by psychological pressure. You often see it expressed implicitly or explicitly in the form, “Only a homophobe would believe …” or “Only a diehard socialist would support …” Both statements, one from the left and one from the right, intend to suppress, not expand discussion.

In the case of the Community Reinvestment Act, the fallacy of intimidation argument takes the form, “Only a racist would question the economic consequences of the Community Reinvestment Act.” If that is the prevailing attitude, how can we ever have an honest discussion of race or make sound economic policy?

Michele Bachmann's defense has been she was quoting an IBD article. Actually she was quoting an IBD editorial by Terry Jones. Daughter Number Three has more:

Unable to tell if Bachmann's entire speech was lifted from Jones or just the first sentence, I found Jones's original article (from Sept. 24, and I'd like to point out it's an editorial, not a news story). Here's what belongs to whom in Bachmann's words.

Just about the first half of the speech is a direct quote from Jones, including the most inflammatory verbiage (that loans were made on the basis of race and little else, and that Clinton was paying back his urban voting bloc). From the point when Bachmann says "These were changes that led Fannie and Freddie to get into the sub-prime loan market," she is speaking in her own words (still somewhat based on the article, but it would pass a plagiarism test). This is the part where she tries to qualify her remarks up until that point by saying that minority homeownership is a good thing, it was just done wrong.

I gather from my Google search that the CRA is a favorite whipping boy of conservative media, such as the National Review (gee, I never thought I'd link to that). However, a relatively well-footnoted paragraph near the end of the Wikipedia entry says:

Robert Gordon [professor of economics at Northwestern] has pointed out that approximately half of the [bad subprime] loans were made by independent mortgage companies that were not regulated by the CRA, and thus had no government obligation to offer credit to minorities. In the later part of the crisis, these mortgage companies made subprime loans at twice the rate of CRA banks. Another third of the major subprime lenders were regulated, but had very little CRA involvement. Gordon also makes the argument that the weakening of the CRA in 2004 was followed by intensified subprime lending.

Wonder if Michele read the Wikipedia before her speech.

Westover continues:

To lay the entire blame for the current financial crisis on the Community Reinvestment Act is foolish; to declare out of bounds discussion of the economic ramifications of government intervention in the housing market through the CRA ensures we won’t get at the root cause of the problem.

Capital knows no color. The Community Reinvestment Act was one of many government interventions that siphoned capital into housing that otherwise was and would have continued flowing into other sectors of the economy. The low risk-high reward promised by the housing market, secured by the government, created a credit expansion unsupported by real value. The point is, there is an economic impact of the CRA, independent of race, which needs to be recognized and discussed. And if one must be a “racist” to discuss it, that discussion is never going to take place, with dire consequences for race relations and the economy.

Posted by Craig Westover | September 27, 2008 9:04 AM

Westover doesn't use race based appeals in his comment. However, during her speech on the house floor, and on Larry King, Michele Bachmann blamed minorities and laws against redlining for the economic crisis. Westover completely papers over that with his defense.

Bachmann supporter Dare comments:

Wake up liberals!

Keith Hakim Ellison is a supporter of CAIR (Council on American Islamist Relations) which supports troublemakers across America like the Flying Imams and foriegn terrorists trying to get access to taxpayer funded US courts. 09.27.08 - 2:02 am | #


If you guys favor Nation of Islam thug Keith Hakin Ellison over Christian Michele Bachmann, you are really out of touch and should be ashamed of yourselves!

By the way, Nation of Isam leader Louis Farakkhan refers to Adolph Hitler as " A Very Good Man" 09.27.08 - 2:20 am

Another commenter on MPR disputes Craig Westover:

CRA was passed in the 1970s. So an initiative passed thirty years ago caused the current economic crisis, despite it working fine for decades?

Look, there were plenty of people using NINJA no-documentation loans to get huge mansions. I think those bad loans have a far greater negative effect than people using CRA-encouraged loans to buy houses in North Minneapolis.

Posted by Doctor Gonzo | September 27, 2008 10:34 AM

Well put.

Friday, September 26, 2008

John McCain - Drama Queen

I'll give him this - he's generating jaw-dropping political theatre.

The guy hasn't been in the Senate since April 6th (according to 'The Daily Show'), but all of a sudden the wheels of government cannot grind without his participation.

The key negotiators were on the verge of an agreement on Thursday, until a new Republican revolt erupted. The Drama Queen got himself a photo op at the big White House conference table, but nobody is talking what he's actually bringing to the table re: a solution.

In the meantime, we're all waiting to see Obama debate an empty podium later tonight.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bill Donahue: Witchcraft is a Sad Reality in Many Parts of Africa

Thursday September 25, 2008

September 25, 2008

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments today on news reports that an African minister once asked God to protect Sarah Palin from witchcraft:

“In 2005, Sarah Palin went to church and found that a visiting minister from Kenya, Bishop Thomas Muthee, was doing the service. He offered a prayer asking Jesus to keep her free from ‘every form of witchcraft.’ Palin said nothing—she simply kept her head bowed throughout the blessing. Why this is newsworthy is one issue, but why it has quickly become the subject of scorn is another.

“For the past two decades, Americans have been lectured by educators and the chattering class that we must respect cultural, religious, racial and ethnic diversity. It seems that exceptions to the creed of multiculturalism are only made when it suits the ideological agenda of the left. Enter Keith Olbermann: He exploited this incident last night as a club to paint Palin as an extremist. Moreover, he used this single blessing to unfavorably contrast the African minister to Barack Obama’s spiritual mentor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright. The MSNBC commentator incredibly said that Wright—who spewed hate speech before Obama for 20 years—‘seems pretty mainstream’ by comparison.

“Witchcraft is a sad reality in many parts of Africa, resulting in scores of deaths in Kenya over the past two decades. Bishop Muthee’s blessing, then, was simply a reflection of his cultural understanding of evil. While others are not obliged to accept his interpretation, all can be expected to respect it. More than that—Muthee should be hailed for asking God to shield Palin from harmful forces, however they may be manifested. And for this he is mocked and Palin ridiculed?

“We know that many cultural elites have a hard time embracing religion, but is it too much to ask that they at least show some manners when discussing subjects which most Americans hold dear?”

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Good for Al Franken on This One

The Drama Queen is hyperventilating and pearl clutching over this one.

This is amazing - Al Franken thinks the phrase “under God” should not be in the Pledge of Allegiance and “In God We Trust” should not on currency.

Kudos to Al Franken on this one. He shows some understanding of the constitution, and what this country stands for here. What's wrong with:

I pledge allegiance to our flag;
And to the republic for which it stands;
One Nation, Indivisable
With Liberty and Justice for All

The Witch Hunter Anoints Sarah Palin

You've got to see this to believe it.

DFL Uses Erik Paulsen's Support of IDiocy in Science Standards Against Him

Support for including Intelligent Design creationism in science classes deep sixed Judy Johnson's run for state senate.

For immediate release

Prehistoric Paulsen Admits to Supporting Fringe Positions on Intelligent Design and Global Warming

At JCRC debate, Paulsen argues local schools can teach intelligent design; refuses to say if he believes in global warming

St. Paul (September 24, 2008) — In a Monday night debate at Temple Bet Shalom in Minnetonka, State Representative Erik Paulsen advocated positions that are decades behind the times and are only held by the right-wing fringe of which he is a leader in the Republican Party.

When asked about whether religion should play any role in public schools, Paulsen argued in favor of bringing religion into the classroom. Paulsen defended his vote to allow public schools to use tax money to teach creationism and intelligent design.

Click here to watch Paulsen’s answer on intelligent design.

On global warming, Paulsen shockingly advocated a wait-and-see strategy that would continue to put our environment and our economy at risk. Paulsen was specifically asked if he was part of the 15 percent of Americans who simply don’t believe global warming exists. Paulsen refused to say. Instead, he said, “In the state legislature this year, I voted for the study that would look at the impact of global warming on a regional basis.” He then went on to bash commonsense proposals for reducing greenhouse gases. In other interviews, Paulsen has refused to say whether he thinks humans are “contributing to global warming.”

Click here to watch Paulsen’s views on global warming.

The Minnesota DFL released the following statement from spokesman Eric Fought:

“Erik Paulsen’s out-of-touch thinking on education and energy is now on display for all to see. His idea of education reform is to teach every child in Minnesota that humans and dinosaurs lived side by side. But his attitude on global warming simply reflects the talking points that the oil industry gives him along with their campaign contributions.

“It would be an absolute embarrassment to the well-educated voters of the Minnesota’s Third District to have a congressman who advocates against teaching science to children and who refuses to acknowledge the reality of global warming.

“Only Ashwin Madia is seriously about making real investments in our education system and boosting Minnesota’s economy through the growth of our green economy.”

Prehistoric Paulsen: Out of Touch on Education and Energy

Paulsen voted to require students to question the theory of evolution. In 2004, Paulsen voted in favor of requiring that state-mandated science standards require students to explain how “new evidence can challenge portions of or entire accepted theories and models including, but not limited to, cell theory, theory of evolution, and germ theory of disease.” [Otremba Amendment, HF 2558, House Journal p. 5557, 3/18/04]

Keith Ellison voted for this same amendment. He told me in an interview that he didn't understand the issue.

  • According to other lawmakers, the amendment mandated that creationism be taught. State Representative Ron Latz said of the amendment, “Essentially this amendment opens the door and mandates that creationism be taught alongside evolution in the science standards.” [House Video Archives 3/18/04, starting at minute 44:00]

  • Even far-right, social conservative organizations like the Minnesota Family Council agree. The Minnesota Family Council described the vote on the amendment as a vote to “[r]equire balanced scientific treatment of evolution in state-mandated science standards.” [Scored Vote #5, Minnesota Family Council, 2003-05 State Legislative Report Card]

Paulsen has repeatedly said he would give absolute discretion to school boards in this area. On April 24, 2008, Paulsen told a Minnesota blog that “I strongly believe that state legislatures and Congress should not act as ‘super school boards.’ School boards should have the flexibility to make education decisions and states should be responsible for holding school boards accountable for results. Local school boards should actively engage parents in all education decisions, including local curriculum selection decisions.” [Minnesota Monitor, GOP US House Candidate Paulsen: an Evolving Standard on Intelligent Design? April 24, 2008]

Paulsen has voted multiple times to sidetrack or water down legislation to make Minnesota a leader in reducing greenhouse-gas emissions and renewable energy usage. In April 2008, Paulsen voted to delete important sections of a greenhouse-gas reduction bill, including the definition of “global warming,” and a report on emissions sources in the state and how to reduce them. In 2007, Paulsen voted to delete a requirement that new large power plants be required to offset any new carbon-dioxide emissions. Paulsen has also opposed measures to require old coal-fired power plants to meet new air-quality standards and to give the state Public Utilities Commission the ability to require that polluting utilities participate in Minnesota’s program to cut air pollution. [Emmer amdt. To SF 3337, H.J. p. 10549, 4/23/08; Seifert amdt. to SF 145, H.J. 6559, 5/11/07; Mariani amdt. to SF 722, H.J. p. 4562, 5/14/01; Kahn amdt. to HF 2792, H.J. p. 7377, 3/22/02]

Paulsen has voted for efforts to promote doubts about the existence and causation of global warming. In April 2008, Paulsen voted for measures requiring more public hearings with equal time for opponents of climate change science and those who claim global warming is not caused by humans. [Olson amdt. to SF 3337, H.J. p 10550, 4/23/08; Erickson amdt. to HF 3195, H.J. p. 10553, 4/23/08]

Paulsen has voted against efforts to expand the availability and use of electricity made from renewable energy sources like wind, biomass and solar. In 2005, Paulsen voted against requiring that 20 percent of the electric energy used in the state be produced from renewable sources by 2020. In 2001, he voted against requiring that electricity made from renewable energy sources make up at least one percent of all power sold in the state, with that minimum percentage to rise by one percentage point each year for ten years. [Peterson amdt. to SF 1368, H.J. p. 4202, 5/19/05; Kubly amdt. to S.F. 722, H.J. p. 4554, 5/14/01]

John McCain Panics on the Debate

Senator McCain issued a sanctimonius statement re: the stalled bailout plan that is struggling for Congressional buy-in. He is suspending his campaign, and requested that his staff pursue postponing the first debate, scheduled for Friday evening.

Senator Obama and the sponsoring debate commission have responded, and there are no plans to postpone or otherwise change the Friday night plans. We'll see if the old guy shows up.

The House Republican caucus is reportedly having a meltdown over this bailout scheme, as well they should. I might actually agree with them this time (write it down).

What's interesting to me is that Senator McCain has made infrequent appearances in the Senate during the past six months, even after he had secured the delegates needed for the nomination. The voters have Arizona have been represented by an empty chair for a long time (and the same can be said for Illinois and New York, to some degree).

It's also interesting that when asked whether he would vote for the bailout package (as it was understood at a point in time), McCain has declined to answer the question, or responded that how he might vote wasn't relevant. What kind of leadership does that represent? He should not be accepting the paycheck for the Senate seat, if that's what he really believes.

The timing is very suspect - his poll numbers have started to drop, he made some well-publicized gaffes in the past two weeks, and it is common knowledge that the economy is not his strong suit.

I heard part of Senator Obama's press conference in response to the McCain statement, and he said that now more than ever, the voters should hear from the people who will inherit this debacle in a few months. Here here.

Stay tuned for the continuing drama.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Obama Includes Anti-Gay Activist In "Faith, Family, Values" Tour

Pam's House Blend:

Obama "Faith, Family, Values Tour" To Include Prop 8 Supporter (+)
by: TomTallis
Sun Sep 21, 2008 at 18:40:11 PM EDT


(What are Blenders thoughts on this? - promoted by Julien Sharp)

Obama to Launch Faith Tour That Includes Supporter of Prop. 8
The Christian Broadcasting Network is reporting that the Obama campaign next week will kick off “Barack Obama: Faith, Family, and Values Tour,” designed to woo the votes of left-leaning Catholics, progressive Evangelicals, and some conservative mainline Protestants. If LGBT people find the tour eerily reminiscent of the South Carolina gospel tour the campaign arranged last year with antigay "ex-gay" gospel singer Donnie McClurkin, their instincts may not be far off. CBN names Catholic legal scholar Douglas Kmiec as one of the religious surrogates who will hit the road stumping for Obama. Kmiec wrote a June 13 op-ed for the San Francisco Chronicle supporting California's Proposition 8, the ballot measure to ban same-sex marriage, titled "On Same-Sex Marriage: Should California Amend Its Constitution? Say 'No' to the Brave New World." Kmiec's first two sentences in the piece read, "The California ballot initiative intended to set aside the state supreme court's judicial invention of same-sex marriage deserves public support. Maybe it is enough to say, as many do in conversation, that it merely re-secures a millennia of tradition and common sense."

See more here and here.

I would urge people to donate to the No on 8 campaign, and send Obama's campaign a copy of the donation.

From the comments:

Any open Prop 8 supporters in the line-up? (0.00 / 0)
If not, what you want to bet Obama has his wife whisper her personal opposition to prop 8 a week later at a gathering of 25 glbt people where no press is present? then it will get reported to the gay press,which will be all aflutter at Obama's "real" feelings on the matter.

Protect Marriage Equality in California and thus the Nation!

by: Lurleen

The LCR's can have a good laugh at our expense (0.00 / 0)
given our collective haranguing of them supporting anti- gay candidates.
Well, here is Donnie McClurkin's stage manager Senator Obama digging up yet another anti-gay person to lend him gravitas and that touch of mainstream homophobic bigotry.

Can you imagine the outcry if the Republicans took a segregationaslist on tour with McCain and Caribou Barbie?
But it is fine for the party that coursts us so very often and delivers so very little to cruise American with a homophobe.

You see, it is still socially appropriate, even amongst the Democraats, to hate us.

Senator Obama, thank you for legitimising discrimination against us and our second class status yet again.
You are beginning to remind me of another populist centrist democratic candidate, Governor George Wallace.

"operare non meno l'ongiegno che la forza" Exercise intellect, as much as force-Cosimo de Medici il Vecchio

by: MauraHennessey @ Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 14:40:57 PM EDT

Why is the fact he's a prop.8 supporter the only interesting thing? (4.00 / 3)
Kmiec isn't just a prop.8 supporter, also he's pro-life/anti-choice, he's a Romney supporter... he's a right wing Republican. That's the point! That's sort of why the Obama people have Kmiec campaigning for them in the first place-- because they're trying to show they have support even among right wing Republicans. If Kmiec weren't a right-wing republican with right-wing republican views there wouldn't be any point in using him for outreach to other right-wingers.
And personally I'd prefer what Obama is doing here-- capturing right-leaning votes by reaching out to them on issues where there is common ground, then using people like Kmiec to argue, look, we can disagree with Obama on things like abortion and gay marriage, but he's the better candidate overall-- over what Democrats have been doing the last 20 years, which is trying to capture right-leaning votes by actually adopting right-wing positions.

I dunno. It just continues to fascinate me how people seem to be more interested in who attends minor Obama campaign events than where Obama actually stands on the issues.


by: mcc @ Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 13:38:58 PM EDT

How different, REALLY, are we from LCR?? (4.00 / 1)
I ask that in all honesty. We regularly attack the Log Cabin Republicans for voting republican, but how is this kind of thing any different? And how is it any diferent than the disdain we have for the less educated voter that votes against their self interest and argues that they are not while doing so?
Last week I sent in my first donation to the Obama Campaign, but I just called (To reach the Campaign Headquarters by phone, please call: (866) 675-2008) and asked to be removed from their campaign due to this issue. I can't be giving money to the Equality California campaign and then give money to Obama when he will be using that money to campaign with someone who will use this exposure to fundraise for the Supporters of Prop 8. It's not at all crazy to think that Kmiec will use this national exposure to ratchet up fundraising for the 8 camp as soon as he is done with the Obama "reach-out". I cannot afford to help support both side of 8 by association.

I live in California and my marriage's validity will be questioned in just a few weeks, and for those of you out there who ever hope to have it in your own state should understand that if we loose here, we will loose almost, if not everywhere. And just a reminder that this comes on the heels of the news that he would not seek to immediately overturn DADT (how much longer will that law remain on the books? 4, or 5 years or will it be dropped for expediency like the Clinton's allowed?).

I called the campaign and told them this in no uncertain (yet totally respectfully to the nice woman on the phone) terms. There are plenty of people out there whom Obama could have used, but one of the leaders in this fight? Not wise and totally reminisent of the Clintons in their early days. And just so you know, when I mentioned it to the woman she said "well, ya know, Obama supports gay marriage" and I had to read her what his actual statements are, and regreted to inform her that since the Clinton's, I was no longer a wink and a nod type of guy.

I say: Either support us, or don't, but don't talk out of both sides of your mouth. That's the "old" Washington...


by: Burnsey @ Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 14:36:19 PM EDT

Latest Mailing from the MN GOP

Even though I haven't attended a caucus or made a contribution in the past four years, I still get occasional mail from the state Republican party.

Today's is a doozy....

It's an absentee ballot application, wrapped in a pro-life message.

'You need to vote this year'.

Apparently, they think a lot of pro-life voters don't show up on election day.

'Please complete teh attached Absentee Ballot Application. And when you vote, please vote Pro-Life'

(Capitalization scheme is copied from the mailing)

On the inside:

'Our Vote Can Reduce the Number of Abortions in America'

'The next President will likely have the opportunity to apopint as many as three Supreme Court Justices. Those of us who vote Pro-Life know the importance of supporting candidates pledging to appoint Justices to the bench who will protect life'.

Yes - I really want the president to appoint justices who will commit to pre-determined outcomes, no matter the arguments or strength of a particular case....

'Vote Pro-Life because the unborn are depending on you'.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Saturday Night Live Sketch on John McCain

Apparently Al Franken helped inspire this sketch.