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Bachmann farm gets big federal payouts but not much MSM attention

And a ho, ho, ho to you, too. Before you hit the stores one last time, check the weather. Some kind of serious snowfall is coming in, and the weather nerds are still thinking it might linger through the entire Christmas holiday.

At dawn, neither the Star Trib or Pioneer Press were showing any interest
in the Politico story, written by Glenn Thrush, who had  jumped on a report by something called the Environmental Working Group. The EWG analyzed pay-outs to farmers across the country. The news is that 6th District Congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s family farm in Independence, Wis., has, um, consented to accept over $250,000 in what by any definition would have to be called “socialized” federal subsidies. Writes Thrush, “Bachmann’s financial disclosure forms indicate her stake in the Wisconsin farm is worth up to $250,000. Her income from the farm has grown from $2,000 a year a few years back to as much as $50,000 for 2008.” Now, OK, this is not illegal. Big Government hands out literally billions in “socialized” payments. But, come on, this isn’t even a “talker” to the MSM? I mean, this is the same Michele Bachmann who has appeared on countless cable “news” shows arguing that socialism is basically three rungs of the ladder down from pedophilia, isn’t it?

The liberal website Truth Dig has even more fun with the revelation.”These subsidies are at the heart of America’s bizarre planned agricultural economy and as far away from Michele Bachmann’s free-market dream world as Cuba’s free medical system. If American farms such as hers were forced to compete in the global free market, they would collapse.” Oh, and add Charles Grassley to the list of pols on the “socialist” meal ticket. “Grassley, the longtime Republican senator from Iowa who warns his constituents of Obama’s ‘trend toward socialism,’ has seen his family collect $1 million in federal handouts over an 11-year period, with Grassley’s son receiving $699,248 and the senator himself pocketing $238,974.” The report is an amusing/infuriating read, depending on your perspective. It concludes by noting, “According to 11 years’ worth of Environmental Working Group data that tracks $200 billion in subsidies, the wealthiest 10 percent of “farmers” have collected 75 percent of the money.” Golly gee, I am just so surprised to hear that.

The Politics Daily website gets its whack in, saying, “Self-described ‘true’ conservatives, like those Bachmann has led this year, are known to viciously oppose farm subsidies, which pay farmers to grow unnecessary crops that are often discarded.”

Target is getting hit harder by bad credit card debt
(delinquencies and write-offs) than other card offerers. The Strib’s Jackie Crosby reports that “Since November’s delinquencies represent purchases made months ago, it is difficult to predict how many of Target’s 31.7 million credit card holders may have overspent their budgets this holiday season and how that might affect Target’s still-profitable credit card portfolio.” She then notes that Target is looking at “possible innovations” to “drive future performance,” which sounds eerily like what a few big banks said before jacking up interest rates and fees and restricting credit.

George Wozniak enjoys a reputation for being one of the savvier operators around
, so it’s a bit of shocker when he announces that his Hobbit Travel operation is shutting down, “temporarily.” His statement that Hobbit has been “particularly hard hit by the recession and has suffered declining revenues and earnings” doesn’t bode well for finding fresh investors anytime soon. Here is Mary Lynn Smith’s story in the Strib.

Sure, you’re one of those uber-organized types who got all your gift shopping done months ago. We’re happy for you. For everyone else, there’s the Rosedale Macy’s, which is staying open round the clock until 6 p.m. Thursday. Gita Sitamariah was out there at 3 in the morning and files for the PiPress. “This week, Macy’s is offering round-the-clock shopping at a dozen locations nationally. The Cincinnati-based department store chain has extended hours at select stores nationwide just before Christmas for the past four years.”

I’m thinking we might need a bit more information here
. An AP story out of Winona has police there arresting a 54-year-old woman for allegedy pulling on a man’s genitals hard enough that he needed stitches. “Officers were called Friday night to a domestic disturbance in Winona. Williams says the man pulled down his underwear for police and showed them a large tear on his genitals.” The man went in for stitches while the woman made bail the next day. As the cops always say, “Domestics … the worst!”

And then there are the stories that come with waaaay TMI.
Like this one from the Duluth News Tribune. “Kevin Robert Thompson, 52, is charged in Cook County District Court with kidnapping, second-degree assault, terroristic threats, false imprisonment, domestic assault and second-degree criminal sexual conduct in connection with an eight- to nine-hour alleged incident on May 15-16 in his home on East Highway 61.” Apparently the husband caught another man with his wife, but the wife had more than a little to do with setting the, uh, lover up. ” … the complaint says, [the husband] Kevin Thompson threatened to disembowel the alleged victim with a crowbar and suggested he might anesthetize him, cut open his skull and feed him his own brain. [Duluth DA Richard] Holmstrom called the dozens of pages of police reports in the case ‘over the top.’ ‘I’ve never seen police reports so graphic in the detail of the allegations of what went on here and that’s in 37 years of defending criminal cases.’ ” Somehow that’s reassuring.

As predicted … here, by me … the cougar, as in The Cougar that has been working its way east since late November, has apparently made it to Wisconsin before the holidays. Andy Rathbun for the PiPress files a story … with photo! “On Monday, it was discovered the cougar had killed a buck fawn. The fawn was found only about 100 yards from where the photo was taken, said Jess Carstens, wildlife biologist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Recourses office in Menomonie.”

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Comments (8)

  1. Submitted by Elliot Mann on 12/23/2009 - 09:09 am.

    The MSM did (slightly) cover the Bachmann farm issue, but it was back in 2007 when Karl Bremer first started talking about it.

    One of MinnPost’s writers wrote about it, too:

  2. Submitted by Eric Ferguson on 12/24/2009 - 02:23 pm.

    Thanks Brian for pointing up the Bachmann story. Those of us who follow the news closely might be surprised at how little most people hear about her. That PPP poll that shows her with 53% approval reinforces my suspicion that most people in her district have no idea what she’s been doing with her office. Apparently we can add hypocritically enriching herself besides displaying a demagogic detachment from reality.

  3. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 12/25/2009 - 09:51 am.

    Yeah, Steve Sviggum (sp?) got caught with that a few years back. These guys are all about small governments except for when it comes to their own handouts. Sviggum get a couple hundred grand a year from the feds as well.

  4. Submitted by Karl Bremer on 12/28/2009 - 10:07 am.

    The Bachmann farm subsidies story is not news at all. As Elliot Mann pointed out above, I broke this story over two years ago on Eric Black’s blog:

    Neither Truthdig nor Politico did any original reporting on this story last week. Likewise, neither credited the original source for their rewrites.

    The pathetic local mainstream media ignored the story two years ago–like they do with most of Bachmann’s hypocrisies–so it’s no surprise they paid no attention this time around.

  5. Submitted by Steve Rose on 12/28/2009 - 01:00 pm.

    So what are people to do with subsidy checks that they legally receive from the federal government, rip them up?

    Anyone that has purchased groceries beyond the US borders knows that we enjoy low food prices here. However, we not only pay for our groceries at the checkout, we pay for them via taxation, which is returned to the producers in the form of subsidies.

    Though I did not agree with the policy of the Cash-for-Clunkers program, I considered participating. How else would I be able to recover the money the federal government took from me to pay for it?

  6. Submitted by Jeremy Powers on 12/28/2009 - 01:17 pm.

    All news reporters have egos that prevent them from writing much about news that wasn’t “reported here first by….”. Political reporters have it worse than most at most media and even worse at the Star Tribune, where even their better reporters don’t write stories that don’t make a predetermined point. (i.e., Who will speak for the middle? By Rachel E. Stassen-Berger where she desperately went looking for someone – ANYONE – to say that the Independence Party might have a chance for governor this year when NOBODY actually believes that. Assumptions and overlooked facts aplenty. Pathetic.)

    If the major newspapers had discovered this now, or two years ago, it would have been daily front page news like it was when they “discovered” that Sen. Al Franken’s accountant goofed on state tax payments. A bookkeeping error becomes monotonous news because they “investigated” it.

  7. Submitted by Tom Anderson on 12/28/2009 - 07:13 pm.

    How did Congresswoman Bachmann vote on the Farm Bill? If she voted in favor of it, it might seem hypocritcal. If, on the other hand, she voted against it, then she demonstrated that she walks the talk.

    How did our Senators or other Congressional representatives vote on the Farm Bill. Rep. Peterson wrote the bill so I’d guess he voted for it…

  8. Submitted by John Sherman on 01/01/2010 - 01:34 pm.

    The last time I checked the EWG website I discovered that the Sviggum family farm had its place at the trough, but my favorite was the brother of Tim McVeigh’s pal Nichols, who farmed in the thumb in Michigan and was such a staunch right-winger that he refused to put plates on his car on the grounds that it was an intrusion of a tyrannical government; on the other hand, he had no trouble accepting a third of a million dollars in farm subsides.

    Of course, that’s of a piece with the chest-thumping anti-government individualism of the high plains and Rocky Mountain states which scorns the government and routinely takes more out of the federal till than those states put in.

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