Third Party & Independents Archives

The numbers don't lie, Ms. Bachmann

Michele Bachmann missed 2,375 (53.02%) of 4,479 Congressio­nal roll call votes since Jan 4, 2007. She missed 58.7% of votes in Q3 2011 (145 out of 247) and missed NINETY ONE POINT THREE PERCENT of votes in Q4-2011 (190 out of 208). And yet, somehow, she still draws every penny of Congressio­nal salary and perks, plus the profits from her book signing tour (which just *happens* to coincide with her presidenti­al campaign).

Are any of you being paid $175,000 plus $384,000 in perks and bennies every year for doing absolutely NOTHING that you were hired to do, or not even show up to be able to do it?

This graph shows the percent of roll call votes Michele Bachmann was absent for during the her "career" in Congress.

The absentee rate is in red. The two thin black lines provide a context for understand­ing the significan­ce of the absentee rate. The lower dotted line shows the median value for all Members of Congress in that time period. The upper dotted line shows the 90th percentile­. A Member who approaches the upper dotted line is in the worst 10 percent of Congress.

Michele Bachmann, by her own failure to perform her sworn duty as a member of Congress, is in the 99.9904 percentile of the worst in Washington­.

The numbers don't lie. But Bachmann and her supporters sure do.

Where is everyone who was so morally indignant and personally outraged over Barack Obama's "present" votes (313 votes out of 2,784 ... 11.23 percent of his total vote participation)? Oh, they're probably far too busy complaining about the 26 days of vacation he's taken in three years.

And what are some of the votes that Bachmann decided she was too busy to show up for?

  • H.R. 501: Final measure to extend the payroll tax holiday, extend Federally funded unemployment insurance benefits, or prevent decreases in reimbursement for physicians who provide care to Medicare beneficiaries.

  • H.R. 3630: To provide incentives for the creation of jobs, and for other purposes: Motion to postpone until after Congressional holiday vacation.

  • H.R. 502: Providing for consideration of the Senate amendments to the bill (H.R. 3630) to provide incentives for the creation of jobs; and providing for consideration of the resolution (H.Res. 501).

  • H.R. 3672: Making appropriations for disaster relief requirements for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2012, and for other purposes.

  • H.R. 2055: Making appropriations for military construction, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2012, and for other purposes.

  • H.R. 3421: To award Congressional Gold Medals in honor of the men and women who perished as a result of the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001.

But cheer up, Bachmann fans: She *IS* batting 1000 in one area: In her entire Congressional career, Michele Bachmann has personally written and/or sponsored a grand total of ZERO bills that ever even got out of committee, let alone ever came to a vote or were passed into law. Go team.

Tell us again, Auntie Michele, what you did when you were in Congress.

On second thought ... don't. We've already heard all your talking points about your "deep, personal commitment to public service."

Posted by Gary St. Lawrence at December 30, 2011 11:43 AM
Comment #333878

It’s up to her congressional district to do something about this. IMO her being President or even getting the nomination are about equal to that of Dennis Kucinich.

Posted by: KAP at December 30, 2011 12:47 PM
Comment #333886

Old news.

Tell you what, if Bachmann is nominated for President, we can compare her record to Obama’s. Otherwise, I don’t vote in Bachmann’s district so it is not my business, probably not yours.

Posted by: C&J at December 30, 2011 2:48 PM
Comment #333893
I don’t vote in Bachmann’s district so it is not my business, probably not yours.

As usual, you ignore the issue and turn it into your usual, by-the-numbers anti-Obama crap.

She’s running for president of the entire country, not just her district. And it’s exactly your brand of asleep-in-front-of-the-television tunnel-vision and partisan nonsense that lets these eminently unqualified morons even get into the spotlight, let alone get near a ballot.

There’s not one word in my post that isn’t 100% factual. But you don’t deal with facts. You deal with whatever insipid idiocy that Fox News tells you to be enraged over (did you get your panties in a bunch over the whole “war on Christmas trees” parade?).

Michele Bachmann is a moron, plain and simple. And she’s an incompetent, lying, hypocritical moron at that. Anyone who defends her in light of her own statements and her pathetically dismal voting record, is as much as, if not more than, a moron as she is.

Posted by: Gary St. Lawrence at December 30, 2011 3:48 PM
Comment #333895

Gary, Like I said in the previous post Bachmann is the Kucinich of the Republicans chances are slim to none she will get nominated. It’s up to her district if they want to put up with what you say.

Posted by: KAP at December 30, 2011 3:55 PM
Comment #333896


She has no chance of winning the nomination. Attack her if you want, although it is hard to know why you want to fight an old battle against an irrelevant foe.

Calling a straightforward statement that we could compare a hypothetical Republican candidate to the incumbent president a “by the numbers Obama crap” is just silly.

Don’t you compare choices of candidates? I usually make up my mind by thinking about the relative merits of choices. I recommend that method to you. Using comparisons and logic isn’t really “crap.” Hate is not really a substitute for thought.

It is interesting how fast you revert to stereotypes and funny to see the workings of your thought processes.

Maybe it would surprise you to know that I don’t get Fox News were I live and have not seen a Fox program since June. Of course, since your attacks are about that old, maybe you have a point.

Posted by: C&J at December 30, 2011 4:02 PM
Comment #333911

The GOP is running an unusual crop for prez this time around. Most candidates have taken up residence in Iowa for the last year and a half yet those folks are mostly undecided four days out. The Corpocracy has put their money on Mitt, signaling to me that he should be the last one to receive the peoples vote.

Many think elections outside their voting district has little effect on them or nothing they can do about it anyway. It really does matter.

Case in point: A councillady in Penn. Had five terms under her belt. The council elected to beef up city retirement packages. At that time the lady had something like $108k in retirement. At the finish of the current term she had about $435 in her package, less than the 4.5% promised by the city. So, she is taking a couple of weeks off, collecting her retirement of some $478k and will return for another term drawing her regular salary. The Mayor tried to veto the revised retirement program, called DROP, but was voted down by, you might guess if you try hard, the councilady.
So, we should all be down on the Penn locals who keep voting in the nice councillady, or at least the retirement policy. Out of district, don’t care you say? But, when you stop and think about how many federal dollars are put into the city, much of it surely under the councillady’s control you might should be concerned. Same for the situation in Bell, Calif. (300 population) where the city chiefs were knocking down six figure salaries/retirements.

You might recall that the republic Sentry Party provides for membership oversight of elected officials from their party, whereby, if sufficient members complain about an elected official the national party membership may be called on to vote up/down on the culprit official and if 2/3rds of the vote is ‘down’ the elected official is rejected from the party. Isn’t that globalism/democracy at its finest? How could anyo
ne not like that?

Otherwise - - -

Posted by: Roy Ellis at December 30, 2011 9:04 PM
Comment #333913

The last I heard was that Obama is still drawing a paycheck and has been absent for every major issue in DC, has spent most of his time vacationing on the tax payers dollar, and Muchell (even after trying to tell everyone else what and how to eat) has mannaged to have 2 or 3 parties a week with rare delicacies imported from all over the world, again, at the tax payers expense. It’s been over a thousand days since we had a budget. How do you feel about Obama getting off his lazy ass and working with the congress to pass a budget? No, certainly not, you liberals will defend that SOB for doing nothing, but you have a problem with Bachman. How about the paycheck Reid is drawing for nothing, does that bother you too?

Posted by: Steve at December 30, 2011 9:12 PM
Comment #333918


You don’t get out much, do you?


Posted by: Rocky Marks at December 31, 2011 1:22 AM
Comment #333919
C&J wrote: “Calling a straightforward statement that we could compare a hypothetical Republican candidate to the incumbent president a “by the numbers Obama crap” is just silly.”

No, what’s silly is that I already did that precise numerical match-up with the incumbent president in my post, but you conveniently ignored that part because it doesn’t fit in with you “make it about blaming Obama no matter what” agenda. I can’t tell if you’re taking cues from Steve or vice versa.

“Don’t you compare choices of candidates? I usually make up my mind by thinking about the relative merits of choices.”

Nice little circular logic you’re pushing. Problem is, my post hasn’t anything to do with Michele Bachmann’s chances of legitimacy in the presidential race. It’s about the sham job she’s done since taking office in Congress and being a literal no-show for more than half the votes of her entire career and that the votes she’s ignored are the EXACT issues she claims to be championing as a candidate.

But again, that doesn’t feed your Obama-hate, so you — as usual — try to change the subject to suit your agenda. No dice, ducky. This time, you’ve been covered and exposed in the same paragraph.

When there’s a legitimate Republican candidate, *THEN* I’ll match them up issue-by-issue against Obama. Until then, it’s exactly the waste of time, money and effort (i.e., the usual quad-year circle-jerk) of which hypocrite and out-lie the other.

For Rocky: No, he clearly doesn’t get out much. Fox News wants their sheeple to be shut-ins so they can continue the steady diet of soylent green.

Posted by: Gary St. Lawrence at December 31, 2011 2:14 AM
Comment #333923


But I didn’t blame Obama. Seriously. You act out with unfocused anger to any comments on your posts, no matter how reasonable, that do not proactively support your difficult to understand positions. Do you write just because you are angry?

I made the conditional statement that IF Bachmann is nominated to run against Obama THEN we can compare her record with Obama.

If you find that to be an attack on Obama, you should seriously reconsider your points of reference. Where in this post did I attack Obama and what “numbers” am I following?

I apologize that I didn’t immediately recognize that you were simply venting against Backmann, bringing up old news for your own autoerotic reasons and did not actually want comments.

You are unlikely to answer or understand a real question, but let me ask anyway. Did you write this because you think Bachmann has a serious chance of winning the nomination? If not, why do you care about news that is months old about a candidate that will not merit more than a footnote in a history of our times?

Posted by: C&J at December 31, 2011 6:34 AM
Comment #333929

Gary, oh yea, well, Obama is worse. Partisanship has become the ultimate weapon of the status quo. Partisans tend to believe that no matter what their representatives have done, the alternative would be worse.

The partisan voters of Bachmann’s district may take notice of her record if she is challenged by another conservative candidate in a primary election, otherwise not.

Posted by: jlw at December 31, 2011 2:19 PM
Comment #333939
C&J wrote: “I apologize that I didn’t immediately recognize that you were simply venting against Backmann, bringing up old news for your own autoerotic reasons and did not actually want comments.”

Shouldn’t you be back under your bridge, frightening the people in the Shire?

“Autoerotic” … gosh, it must have taken you hours to think of that particularly insipid, irrelevant and unwarranted (not to mention untrue) piece of bait.

What part of the post, including her name in the headline, led you to think it was about anything OTHER than Bachmann’s piss poor performance record and blatant hypocrisy.

And, as I predicted, you look at an ongoing problem, yawn and say it’s “ancient history” because you can’t be bothered to get off your pontificating ass long enough to do anything other than point at the latest shiny object.

Posted by: Gary St. Lawrence at December 31, 2011 5:50 PM
Comment #333940
C&J wrote: “why do you care about news that is months old about a candidate that will not merit more than a footnote in a history of our times?”

Q4 2011 is months old?

Newsflash, pinhead: Q4 2011 is TODAY, right up until midnight. The stats I cited are as fresh as THIS WEEK.

Sorry that balloon powered brain of yours can’t grasp something as “ancient” as YESTERDAY.

Oh look! A shiny thing! JUMP!

Posted by: Gary St. Lawrence at December 31, 2011 5:53 PM
Comment #333941

Gary - I am better educated, more successful and as well as probably taller and better looking than you are. And people who know me actually like me. I bet people don’t like you.

I have cut you a lot of slack with your nasty anger, but you are done now. I have talked on this blog to all sorts of people. I have tried to be polite to you. No more pearls to cast.

Sorry you are not up to my standards. In the time of my blogging only a few people have fallen low enough to be cut off. Welcome to the exclusive club. We will speak no more.

Posted by: C&J at December 31, 2011 6:04 PM
Comment #333943

C&J, this isn’t the first time Gary has singled out a clown politician and the partisans that support them. His comments about Bachmann are right on and it must be frustrating for him when people say, oh yea, the other side does it to.

It isn’t the first time Gary has let frustration get the better of him and not the first time he has singled out someone for a personal attack.

Gary seems to be hardcore anti partisan, but as Adrienne pointed out, he attacks the participants who comment on his posts, even when they aren’t being partisan and a check of his website will reveal that he mostly goes after the GOP. Of course GOP voters tend to support ignorance more than the Democrats.

Canadian oil will free us from dependence on importing foreign oil? I am shocked that Perry didn’t say it would lead to $0.12 per gal. gas. We have heard conservative voters issue that proclamation on WatchBlog. I wonder where they got that notion from?

We can all be jerks on occasion, I usually feel remorseful afterwards. Some people don’t.

I know that you are upset, but what does being more successful, taller and better looking have to do with the qualities of a person?

Posted by: jlw at December 31, 2011 7:32 PM
Comment #333946


“We can all be jerks on occasion, I usually feel remorseful afterwards. Some people don’t.”

As do I, but Gary takes it to a whole new level.

“I know that you are upset, but what does being more successful, taller and better looking have to do with the qualities of a person?”

That was merely a reply to Garys childish personal attacks. Reading the drivel he writes is bad enough, but when he refers to someone as “numbnuts” or one of the many other personal slights he feels the need to use when he gets pissed because someone has the gall to disagree with his superior wisdom, it brings the more level headed person back to the old saying about not arguing with idiots or children.

BTW, most of his personal attacks are flagrant violations of WB rule for participation. You know….the ones you and I are expected to follow.

Posted by: dbs at January 1, 2012 8:15 AM
Comment #333951

dbs, I agree, Gary could be helped by anger management, except the drivel part.

Gary’s post is about the hypocrisy of partisanship.

Republicans have repeatedly attacked Obama on his absenteeism.

I didn’t watch all of the Republican debates, but I don’t think any of the Republican candidates were questioned on their record in this regard. Ms. Bachmann, since 2007 you have accumulated a significant record of absenteeism in the House. If we elect you, can we expect you to be a part time president?

The partisans of both parties are fully capable of ignoring things about their candidates while attacking the same things when it concerns the candidates of the opposition.

If we think something about an opposition candidate is a disqualifier then the same should be a disqualifier for our own candidate. We may not be able to git rid the opposition candidate, but we certainly can git rid or our own problem. That is what partisans refuse to do and they use playground arguments to justify it.

Posted by: jlw at January 1, 2012 12:54 PM
Comment #333952


Her constituents will be the ones who will decide whether she has fullfilled her duties as cong. rep. If I were one of them I would look at what effect her voting or lack thereof has had on my well being.

As far as her running for pres. goes. If she is the nominee which C&J pointed out is unlikely, and I think most would agree. Every inch of her life will be scutinized. Until then it is a party primary, and not really the business of anyone not in the party, although everyone is still entitled to speak thier opinion, whether it’s relevant or not.

Posted by: dbs at January 1, 2012 1:34 PM
Comment #333957


“If we think something about an opposition candidate is a disqualifier then the same should be a disqualifier for our own candidate.”

In a perfect world this might be true. Unfortunately we have to work with what we have, faults and all. This often involves voting for what we perceive as the lesser of two evils. This was how I felt about voting for John McCain. I could have cast my vote for a third party candidate that was preferable, but had no chance of winning. By doing so I would have in essence been voting for Obama by throwing away my vote. In the real world many times we hold our noses, and do what we have to do to avert what we perceive as an even worse outcome.

Posted by: dbs at January 1, 2012 3:23 PM
Comment #333968

I don’t think much of Michele Bachmann’s chances, but as of late, Republicans have taken many candidates I would have left in fringe territory, and raised them high as their favorite.

The problem for the Republicans at this point is that they have no love for the candidate who can actually reach out past their ranks, because they’ve been taught that compromise and impurity of ideology is an evil to be fought off at all costs.

Which means they have absolutely no room to manuever, and so they will keep on doing things like the Debt Ceiling debacle, because all the dissenters to that stupidity have been chased out of the party, and the impatient voters can only be placated at this point by the broadest gestures, after years of being made promises about the size of government and the deficit, among other things.

Frankly, I think Bachmann is unlikely enough as it is, but the Republicans have crippled ever choice they have with a liability. They let the forces of anti-intellectualism run unchecked. That gets you people like Rick Perry and George Bush. They let the fringe of the party, with it’s conspiracy theories and its latent, prejudicial hostilities take control in the party. That gets you Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul. So on, and so forth.

The politicians are left essentially trying to outdo each other in the extremity and the zealotry of their dedication to the party’s dogmas. Trouble is, no system man creates is ever that completely consistent, so inevitably, those who follow that path find themselves in these insane sort of dilemmas you can only find yourself in when you’ve stopped using real world results as your target for resolving the conflicts you’re faced with.

There are many things politicians do that we dislike that come about frankly because we are not allowed ideal stages from which to determine our choices, but instead must make those choices with less than ideal information and options available.

Personally, I didn’t vote for Obama because I thought that everything he promised would come true. I voted for him because I believed he was the sort of person who had the creative thought available to him to seek other choices. He hasn’t always lived up to that, but he’s lived up to that promise enough that I can honestly say my vote wasn’t wasted. Besides, I get the sense that if it weren’t for the people on the other side always trying to obstruct things, he would have gotten even more done.

Long story short, the Republican party has long since become a party torn between it’s dogmatic dreams of policy, and the realities that force other decisions to be made. My sense of the GOP at this point is that they’re trying to do all the things that were long ago dismissed as too nutty to do anything but promise, and they’re suffering for it. Note how nobody’s cheering them for the budget cuts they achieved in the debt ceiling deal, much less for forcing the confrontation. To many, the GOP’s come to represent a sort of political insanity, and that anybody listens to a woman like Michele Bachmann as a major leader only stands out as another symptom.

I think Republican voters as individuals could do better, and likely will, but only after they realize that they were sold a dream that didn’t have much of a chance of coming true. Conservatism and the GOP can survive, but only if they realize that they need a new approach to politics that acknowledges the changes that aren’t going away any time soon.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 2, 2012 12:00 PM
Comment #333970


Why would any republican or conservative take advice from a member of the opposition party? If those in the republican party wanted to be more like democrats, or believed in thier solutions, then taking thier advice would make sense. Otherwise not so much.

Posted by: dbs at January 2, 2012 3:12 PM
Comment #333974

The main problem that conservatives have is that many supposed conservatives don’t agree with much of the conservative dogma and it’s proposed agenda. They don’t agree with the conservative agenda on Social Security, on Medicare, on illegal immigration, and quite a number of them are not happy about America policing the world.

Posted by: jlw at January 2, 2012 5:07 PM
Comment #333986

It’s not necessarily about becoming more like us, but it wouldn’t hurt if you stopped forming yourselves basically by just being the opposite of everything we are.

You should deal with things as the facts tell you its best to deal with them, and afterwards, you should look at your results and see if your policies did the job they were supposed to.

The problem for people on the right these days is that they’ve got their dogmas set up on pedestals, and the ideas of their opponents practically declared heresies. As a consequence, there’s very little flexibility anymore in considering what would be the best move, and where your party is wrong, you’ve left yourself with no room to correct yourselves.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 3, 2012 4:34 PM
Comment #334021

I knew I didn’t plan to post here again, but clearly your scathing criticism has driven Bachmann out of the race. I underestimated your power. If not for this posting, Bachmann would have been president.

Michele Bachmann will end her presidential campaign Wednesday morning at an event in West Des Moines, Iowa, the Associated Press reported. Bachmann finished sixth in Tuesday’s Iowa caucuses, with only 5 percent of the vote, in last place among candidates who competed in the state.

For more information…

Now that you have vanquished Bachmann, I suggest you take on Santorum. He finished in double digits, but I know your searing intellect can defeat him.

Posted by: C&J at January 4, 2012 2:57 PM
Comment #334116

C&J wrote: “Now that you have vanquished Bachmann, I suggest you take on Santorum. He finished in double digits, but I know your searing intellect can defeat him.”

My intellect is as searing as your wit is rapier.

Posted by: Gary St. Lawrence at January 6, 2012 1:33 AM
Comment #334367

Vote ‘em ALL out.

At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, repeatedly rewarding the duopoly, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress with perpetual re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at January 11, 2012 7:50 PM
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