For a major public figure as, uh, “prone to major misstatements” as Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, it’s surprising you don’t read a story like Tom Scheck’s at MPR every day. Says Scheck: “[I]independent fact checkers find that the information she relies on is often exaggerated, misleading or wrong. PolitiFact, a Pulitzer Prize-winning feature of the St. Petersburg Times that checks whether statements made by politicians are true, has repeatedly determined that Bachmann’s claim don’t ring true. ‘We have checked her 13 times, and [found] seven of her claims to be false and six have been found to be ridiculously false,’ PolitiFact editor Bill Adair said. Adair said no politician has been checked as often as Bachmann without saying at least something that’s true.”
Scheck adds: “In a nine-minute interview with Bachmann on Minnesota Public Radio News’ Morning Edition program earlier this month, Bachmann made at least four misleading or false statements. For example, she suggested the new federal health care law is the main reason health insurance premiums have increased across the country.”
Emily Gurnon of the PiPress reports that John Paul St. Marie the organizer of the so-called “Nice Guys” prostitution ring, will get only probation. “St. Marie, 66, of Minneapolis is ‘extremely medically fragile’ and requires 24-hour care, said prosecutor Kaarin Long. ‘The cost would just be too high, the liability too high, for even one night in the jail,’ she said. St. Marie, who has been a quadriplegic since contracting polio at age 8, worked in the civil division of the county attorney’s office until about four years ago, when his health forced him to leave. He is wheelchair-bound and now breathes with a ventilator hooked up to his trachea.”
David Chanen of the Strib says: “The ring was one of the more unusual ones they’ve seen in Minnesota, said Sgt. Grant Snyder and Sgt. Matt Wente, investigators for the Minneapolis Police Department’s Violent Offender Task Force. The operation flew under the radar for at least three years, police said. St. Marie paid for women’s airline tickets and hotel stays in exchange for sex, the charges said.”
A thematically related story, reported by Abby Simons of the Strib, says: “An Anoka man is charged with felony prostitution for allegedly using the Internet to sell sex from an underage girl to as many as 600 men. … The girl said he posted photos of her online, and in the last eight months she had sex for money with about 600 men, sometimes as many as eight per day, in hotels, a Minneapolis apartment, in Wisconsin and most recently at an Anoka residence …, charges said.”
A scam to convert Hummers AND cap the Deepwater Horizon blow-out? Some guys think big. Jessica Fleming at the PiPress tells his story: “A Detroit Lakes, Minn., man who fabricated a story last summer that he had invented the cap that fixed the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is facing three unrelated felony theft charges. Blake Mastin, aka Blake A. Sundvor, allegedly took money and truck parts from at least six victims who were promised that Mastin would repair or rebuild their Hummer H-1 sport utility vehicles.”
She adds: “In July, several local news outlets, including KARE-TV and KSTP-TV, reported that Mastin had invented the cap that eventually plugged the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. But the Pioneer Press found that BP had not bought the device from Mastin. Though it was unclear what Mastin hoped to gain with the July claim, several victims thought he might use the stories, in which he said he would make hundreds of millions of dollars, to persuade people to invest in him or allow him to buy large-ticket items on credit.”
With hit TV shows like “The Walking Dead” and best-sellers like “The Passage,” zombies are hot. It can’t take much for overheated imaginations to make the jump from chronic wasting disease in deer to a sci-fi human infection. Elizabeth Dunbar of MPR keeps the story down to strictly science: “ A preliminary screening test of a deer shot by a hunter last November in southeastern Minnesota indicates chronic wasting disease. … Chronic wasting disease is fatal to deer, elk and moose. It has no known effects on human health.” Sure, that what the “experts” are saying now.
Dennis Anderson, the Strib’s outdoors guru, writes: “Preliminary tests show that a doe, believed to be ‘older,’ was infected by CWD. Very little of the animal has been eaten by the hunter or his family, the Department of Natural Resources reported Friday morning, and the butchered meat has been given to authorities for further testing.” Define “very little.”
Someone has to keep an eye on GOP state chairman Tony Sutton’s Wikipedia page. So I guess I’m glad its Ed Kohler, blogging at “The Deets”. Writes Kohler: “Yesterday, someone [added] some background on Tony Sutton’s business practices. Based on their IP address, they appear to be in Ohio — a state where Tony Sutton’s Baja Sol restaurant chain used to have franchises: … here is the text added by the anonymous Ohioan: “Sutton left many small business holding the bag when he stopped payment for contract services. Three closed shop due to his ‘Winning Strategy,’ which if you can not dazzle with intelligence — Blind them with bull!” His PR firm better start cranking up more untruths for the public. That contribution was not up to Wikipedia’s standards. The user didn’t cite sources, use a neutral point of view on the subject he/she is clearly passionate about, yadda yadda.”
And … “Don’t worry. It didn’t last for long. An experienced editor named SWMNPoliSciProject noticed the edit and reverted the page to its previous version while labeling the edit as vandalism. Then SWMNPoliSciProject went on t o clean up the grammar in the contributions I made.” The back and forth on this is pretty amazing when you stop and remind yourself that we’re probably talking adults … jacking with … Tony Sutton’s Wikipedia page?
OK, it’s crude, but it’s funny. City Pages links to a video titled, “What Should I Do?” which is basically about Brett Favre’s quandries over … well, just about everything … but mainly his, uh, well … his …