Today in Bachmannia: Sadly, for all the pundits and political junkies who have been huffing Our Favorite Congresswoman’s eau de Ambition for the past half-decade, the air appears completely out of the bag. Steve Thomma and David Goldstein of the McClatchy papers review the GOP presidential race to date and say: “Michele Bachmann’s presidential hopes have lately taken a nosedive. The Minnesota congresswoman finished dead last Saturday in the Florida Republican straw poll — six weeks after leading the field in Iowa’s straw poll. And even when Bachmann does score some points, she sometimes has a tendency to overreach. … Her poll numbers remain in single digits, and her former campaign manager has been lobbing critiques of her stumbling performance from the sidelines. … ‘For these candidates, the support is a mile wide and an inch thick,’ said Republican strategist Greg Mueller. ‘Romney voters might be Romney voters today, but might be Perry voters tomorrow. Perry voters might be Perry voters today and Bachmann voters tomorrow.’ That’s Bachmann’s hope.” So, you see, she is this year’s “hope” candidate.
Adam Smith of the St. Petersburg Times files a list of the Top Ten Things We Learned from the GOP Debate. Of particular note: “8. Michele Bachmann is no longer relevant. Less than 2 percent of the straw poll voters supported the Minnesota congresswoman … who used to be the darling of tea party activists.”
Meanwhile, back in Iowa, according to Seema Mehta of the Los Angeles Times, Our Gal was telling (what’s left of) her supporters: “Bachmann said Monday that Republicans will take the White House in 2012, so the party should not ‘settle’ and nominate a moderate candidate on the belief that one is more electable than a true conservative. ‘Every four years, conservatives are told we have to just stand next to the wall, sit in the back of room and we have to get around a candidate that we’re told is electable,’ Bachmann told about 40 people who came to a rally in a hotel ballroom.” And the “moderate” would be who?
But cheer up, Michele, Mac Hammond has your back. Patrick Condon of the AP reports: “Mac Hammond is pastor of Living Word Christian Center in Brooklyn Park. He told his congregation Sunday that he and his wife would campaign with Bachmann, and that he may chair a national faith council for her campaign. ‘She is a sister in the Lord that is as committed to his word as any of you in here are,’ Hammond told the congregation, according to a recording posted on his church’s website.”
According to Doug Smith of the Strib, the limits are off the size of the northerns you can catch in 15 more lakes: “Special fishing regulations on 15 Minnesota lakes — designed to boost the average size of northerns there — will be dropped Nov. 1 as the result of a law passed this year capping the number of such lakes at 100. The controversial law forced the DNR to remove 15 lakes from the 115 that have special northern regulations. The DNR usually imposes the size restrictions with approval of lake associations and fishing groups. But spearers lobbied legislators last session, arguing that the restrictions prevent them from using those lakes. Legislators had proposed cutting the number to 60 or 90 lakes, but compromise legislation capped the number at 100.” Who writes these regulations, an insurance company attorney?
Chris Newmarker at Finance & Commerce sees a lot more “drama” in our gas prices than elsewhere: “Minnesota simply has the misfortune — along with a small number of other states including Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky — of having gas station markets dominated by a few corporate players who are masterful at quickly lowering prices against the mom-and-pop stations, who then quickly follow suit. The large station chains will then quickly raise prices to make up for lost margins, with the small station owners following up again. This all makes for plenty of price swings, not to mention variation, among gas station in the Twin Cities, and Minnesota as a whole.”
The Strib editorializes about the latest downgrade of the state’s credit rating. As for blame, it says: “Wall Street rewards sustainably balanced budgets, and isn’t fussy about whether a state achieves that balance with low taxes and meager government services, or high taxes and robust services. But about that, Minnesotans through the years have shown a clear preference. They’ve opted for high-quality education, infrastructure and social services, understanding that those services pay a long-term economic dividend. Republicans tacitly acknowledged that leaning when they offered to agree to the spending that Dayton sought, provided it wasn’t paid for with higher taxes. … Together, they opted for borrow-and-spend budgeting, perhaps thinking that it brought them some degree of political comfort.” Oh. Sorry. I guess they didn’t say.
You may have to drive out of town, but Paul Huttner at MPR says Tuesday night might be a good one for the Northern Lights: “A glancing but powerful Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) hit earth Monday. The best chances for northern lights may be on the “night side” of earth at impact meaning Europe and Asia … but there is a chance some effects may linger into Canada and the far northern USA overnight Monday onto Tuesday. … If you’re out in the wee hours or up before the dawn this week and skies are clear, you may want to check for northern lights.The best place to view is generally away from city lights in a dark sky with a good view to the north.”
PZ Myers, biologist, U of M-Morris prof and author of the popular “Pharyngula” science blog expends more time than I would swatting down the latest creationist “crazy.” But there is a twist: “We’ve got another chittering weasel of a creationist raving in the comments, a fellow going by the name YesYouNeedJesus. He’s also sending me email.
‘PZ, I first heard about you on Bob Enyart’s radio show about the fact that you turned down an offer to debate Bob. I must say that my first impression of you is that you are smarter than most evolutionists. Smarter because the evolutionists that debate Bob get absolutely destroyed every time. Every evolutionist that I spoke to who was at the debate between Bob Enyart and Reasons to Believe willfully admitted that their side (evolution) lost.’
” … You read that, and apart from the creationist crazy, you get the impression that this guy is just someone with no ties to Enyart (other than his deep and abiding passionate love for him) who listened to the radio show, found out about these evilutionists, and ran over here to see what was up. This is not the case. His name is Will Duffy, something revealed in the first few minutes of the video below, and he’s Bob Enyart’s producer.”
If anyone out there wants to find out who Bob Enyart is, go ahead and send me an email. I don’t have time.