Fear and Self-loathing in Ames

Don Lemon, the CNN weekend anchor, is probably one of the best, most professional anchors on cable news.  He recently came out on TV during a segment on child sexual assault and has since written a book called “Transparent”. It’s pretty brave to discuss your experiences as the victim of child sexual abuse and even braver to come out as a gay man when you’re a major media figure and a black man.  I’ve always been partial to him because of his connections to Louisiana. He’s from Port Allen. You only have to watch his newscasts to realize exactly how nice the award-winning news anchor can be to the people he interviews. He’s one of the most empathetic interviewers I’ve ever watched.  He’s definitely become a great role model for young blacks and  gay men. So, I just read this headline and find the behavior of pray-the-gay-away-therapy-pushing, mail-order-degree-bearing, closet-case Marcus Bachmann beyond offense. Only some one filled with a lot of self-hate could be mean to Don Lemon.

CNN anchor Don Lemon reports that members of the campaign team for Rep. Michele Bachmann including her husband Marcus Bachmann shoved him after an event for the candidate in Des Moines on Friday.

According to CNN, Lemon and another reporter from the network were among a ring of press and supporters that surrounded Bachmann after she spoke briefly at the Iowa State Fair and tried to make her way to a drive cart to exit.

“As both CNN staffers tried to question Bachmann, Lemon said he was pushed by two members of Bachmann’s staff,” reports CNN. “Lemon also said that Marcus Bachmann, the congresswoman’s husband, pushed him.”

As the clip below indicates, the openly gay anchor tried to ask Bachmann respectful questions about her debate performance on Thursday and her expectations for the Ames Straw Poll that takes place today.

Lemon said afterward, “I told them, asked them not to elbow me. And then her husband Marcus started doing the same thing. And then he elbowed me into the cart. And I said, ‘You just pushed me into the cart.’ And he goes, ‘No, you did it yourself.’”

I really think that Bachmann’s self loathing and fear of his sexuality came glaring through in this act of meanness.


Clinic Owned by Michele and Marcus Bachmann Offers “Ex-Gay” Therapy

For some time, there have been rumors that Bachmann & Associates, a psychological counseling business with two locations in Minnesota offers reparative therapy, often referred to as “ex-gay therapy.” The business is owned owned jointly by GOP presidential candidate Michele and her husband Marcus Bachmann, according to Michele Bachmann’s financial disclosure forms.

The Bachmanns have repeatedly denied that their “clinic” uses this discredited treatment in order to attempt to “cure” clients’ homosexuality. And in fact, the treatment is not listed on the clinic’s website. We now have solid evidence that they are lying.

Two articles were posted on Friday at the Truth Wins Out (TWO) website, one a report of an undercover investigation by John M. Becker and the other by Wayne Besen explaining why the group undertook the investigation and why they have “concluded that That Marcus Bachmann’s Clinic Engages in ‘Ex-Gay’ Therapy.” According to the website, TWO is a “nonprofit organization that fights anti-gay religious extremism.

Besen writes:

There has been an ongoing discussion as to whether the clinic of Marcus Bachmann, the husband of presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), practices “reparative therapy,” the discredited technique that aims to turn gay people into heterosexuals. When asked, Marcus Bachmann said that his clinic did not take part in such therapy. According to a June 15th article in The Daily Beast:

In November 2005, Marcus Bachmann delivered a presentation called “The Truth About the Homosexual Agenda” at the Minnesota Pastors’ Summit. According to a gay activist who attended and spoke to the City Pages, Bachmann’s presentation ended with testimony from three people who claimed they’d been gay and had been “cured” and become straight. “If someone is interested in talking to us about their homosexuality, we are open to talking about that,” he told the newspaper. “But if someone comes in a homosexual and they want to stay a homosexual, I don’t have a problem with that.”

During a week-long Truth Wins Out undercover investigation inside Bachmann & Associates, Truth Wins Out discovered that the clinic actually does practice textbook “reparative therapy.” With two hidden cameras in tow, TWO’s Director of Communications and Development, John Becker, attended five private sessions with Bachmann & Associates counselor Timothy Wiertzema, MA LMFT.

John M. Becker, the young man who went undercover with hidden cameras to investigate whether Bachmann & Associates is offering reparative therapy despite their denials, reported on his experiences in a second article. He scheduled an appointment with a counselor, explaining that he was “struggling with [his] homosexuality.”

Preparing for my first visit was a surreal experience. I couldn’t pay by check since my checks had my name, my husband’s name, and a Vermont address. This meant I would be paying with cash and opening my wallet before each appointment, so I realized I’d have to go through my wallet and remove or hide anything that would invite suspicion. My Human Rights Campaign credit card had to go, lest anyone recognize that organization’s ubiquitous logo. I left our ACLU membership card behind as well. I also hid my out-of-state debit card and library card, and took the photo of Michael and me out of my wallet along with the copy of our marriage certificate that I always keep close. Despite the hot and humid Minnesota weather, I wore long pants to conceal a tattoo on my ankle of a pink triangle, the badge of gay prisoners in Nazi concentration camps and a symbol of the struggle for LGBT equality. At the last minute, in the parking lot, I remembered that Michael’s picture was set as the background image on my phone, so I hurriedly changed it. Finally, I took a deep breath and slipped off my wedding ring, placing it in a plastic bag inside my satchel, right next to one of the hidden cameras. My identity as a proud, openly gay, happily married LGBT rights activist was totally erased. I was ready

Once inside, Becker explained why he was seeking help.

When asked why I came in for counseling, I said that I had been struggling with homosexuality for a long time and tried a lot of things, up to and including suicide, to make it go away – exactly how my 16-year-old self would have responded. I said that I was upset: this struggle has lasted for so long that I started to wonder if I was doing it right and decided to seek outside help. All of my sexual experiences, from age 14 onward, had been with men. What I wanted, though, was to get rid of my homosexuality and eventually marry a woman.

At the second session Becker asked the counselor if he would

ever be able to be completely rid of homosexuality, or merely learn to cope with and manage it? Wiertzema’s response was that it’s situational. Some people have been able to get rid of it completely over a long time period, others over a shorter time period. Still others are able to get it to “subside,” down to a “manageable” level, but it’s still there in the background. He asked me, “Are you okay with knowing that it might take awhile, and that it might not… maybe not happen at all? …Obviously, it’s not okay, in a way, but…” I said that I wanted to give it a go, that it was better to try than to not try.

In subsequent meetings with the therapist, Becker was told that people can overcome their homosexual urges and no longer be attracted to the same sex and that

“We’re all heterosexuals, but we have different challenges.” Attraction to the same sex “is there, and it’s real, but at the core value, in terms of how God created us, we’re all heterosexual.”

All of this despite the fact that

every professional medical and mental health association rejects “ex-gay” therapy…or that the treatment I was seeking was totally unsupported by research. I was never informed about possible alternative treatment options such as gay-affirmative therapy. Nobody ever told me about the potential for harmful side effects like depression and suicidal thoughts. And although I was asked to sign a treatment plan outlining my problem, desired outcome, and treatment strategy, I was never given nor asked to sign any kind of informed consent document that disclosed the above information about “ex-gay” therapy.

Becker asked about churches that would be supportive of his struggle, and was referred to churches that welcome ex-gays, including the Outpost Ministries, which, according to its website,

exists to help the sexually and relationally broken find healing and restoration through relationship with Jesus Christ….Outpost was formed over 30 years ago to meet the needs of men and women making the decision to break away from gay life. We strive to deal with individuals as whole persons, not merely sexual beings. We offer teaching, encouragement and support to individuals, families and the Church. Outpost emphasizes obedience to God’s Word, which begins the healing process. As we grow in our submission to Jesus Christ, we also grow in friendship with Him. It is in relationship with Jesus that we are healed and transformed.

Another article by Maria Blake at The Nation provides support for Becker’s story and the conclusion that Bachmann & Associates offers reparative or “ex-gay” therapy. Blake relates the story of Andrew Ramirez, who came out to his parents during his senior year in high school.

His mother took the news in stride, but his stepfather, a conservative Christian, was outraged. “He said it was wrong, an abomination, that it was something he would not tolerate in his house,” Ramirez recalls. A few weeks later, his parents marched him into the office of Bachmann & Associates, a Christian counseling center in Lake Elmo, Minnesota, which is owned by Michele Bachmann’s husband, Marcus. From the outset, Ramirez says, his therapist—one of roughly twenty employed at the Lake Elmo clinic—made it clear that renouncing his sexual orientation was the only moral choice. “He basically said being gay was not an acceptable lifestyle in God’s eyes,” Ramirez recalls. According to Ramirez, his therapist then set about trying to “cure” him. Among other things, he urged Ramirez to pray and read the Bible, particularly verses that cast homosexuality as an abomination, and referred him to a local church for people who had given up the “gay lifestyle.” He even offered to set Ramirez up with an ex-lesbian mentor.

So there you have it. Michele and Marcus Bachmann are receiving Federal and state taxpayer funds to offer a discredited and unethical therapy without even informing clients of the dangers or that no major medical or psychological organization approves of this approach.


Michele and Marcus Bachmann and Cher’s Gaydar


GOP Presidential Candidate Michele Bachmann and her potential “first dude” Marcus Bachmann have been campaigning together since her recent announcement that she is running for President. At a rally on June 28, in Myrtle Beach, NC, Michele gave a rousing stump speech and then the happy couple danced together onstage to the strains of “Wabash Cannonball”

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In 2010, Marcus Bachmann explained to a “christian” radio host that homosexuals are “barbarians” who “need to be educated.” Now that the Bachmanns are in the spotlight, their attitudes about homosexuals are beginning to be noted by the corporate media.

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After Cher saw the above MSNBC segment, she tweeted the following to her followers:

“Just heard Michele Bachmann’s OH SO CHRISTIAN husband talk about ‘Gays’ in the most UNCHRISTIAN way WTF!”

“But Boys please utube this asshole & tell me what u think … Cause My Gay-Dar is GOING OFF!!!”

More of her tweets are posted at the above link.

Here’s another radio interview of Marcus discussing his advice to his daughter about choosing her prom dress and how that process relates to identity.

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These two are just a bundle of contradictions. Now check this out:

After a long hard day of wingnutting, what does the family of crazy-eyed Minnesota congresswoman Michele do to kick back? Well, of course, they watch Glee! Are the anti-gay Michele Bachmann and her “Christian counselor” husband Marcus hypocrites, stupid or all of these things?

Justin Bieber disappointed U.S. representative and potential presidential candidate Michele Bachmann at last night’s Time 100 by not showing up — she’d brought copies of his book to sign for one of her older sons, who is a special-ed teacher. But she did delight her other, younger children (she’s taken care of 23 foster kids over the years) by meeting another popular teen icon and singer. At the event last night, at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Bachmann and her husband posed with Glee star Darren Criss and e-mailed the pictures to their children. “We looked for Chris Colfer,” she said, but they didn’t find him. “We don’t watch TV, generally speaking. But the kids were thrilled. What kids don’t watch Glee?” Well, maybe the children of potential presidential candidates who think God sent them to stop gay people from having equal rights? Maybe Bachmann doesn’t know that the main message of the popular teen hit is tolerance, respect, and equal treatment — particularly for gay people. She doesn’t watch TV, after all.

My head is spinning!

NOTE: Videos taken from Youtube orginally posted by the Dump Bachman blog, and indispensible source for information on Michele and Marcus Bachmann.


Marcus Bachmann’s “Mental Health” Clinic Receives Medicaid Funds

Michele Bachmann, lying liar and hypocrite

NBC News Investigative Correspondent Michael Isikoff has learned that Marcus Bachmann’s “Clinic” has been receiving $137,000 in Medicaid payments in addition to the $24,000 in federal funds previously reported by the LA Times. Isakoff writes:

While Rep. Michelle Bachmann, R-Minn., has forcefully denounced the Medicaid program for swelling the “welfare rolls,” the mental health clinic run by her husband has been collecting annual Medicaid payments totaling over $137,000 for the treatment of patients since 2005, according to new figures obtained by NBC News.

[….]

The clinic, based in Lake Elmo, Minn., describes itself on its website as offering “quality Christian counseling” for a large number of mental health problems ranging from “anger management” to addictions and eating disorders.

[….]

…state records show that Bachmann & Associates has been collecting payments under the Minnesota’s Medicaid program every year for the past six years. Karen Smigielski, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Human Services, said the state’s Medicaid program is funded “about 50-50″ with federal and state monies. The funds to Bachmann & Associates are for the treatment of low-income mentally ill patients and are based on a “fee for service” basis, meaning the clinic was reimbursed by Medicaid for the services it provided.

Smigielski added that these were not the only government funds that Bachmann & Associates has received. The clinic also participates in managed-care plans that are reimbursed under a separate state-funded Minnesota Health Care program. But the state does not have any records of payment information to the individual clinics that participate.

In addition to being a right wing nut and hatemonger who thinks god talks to her, Michele Bachmann is a sleazy lying liar and a hypocrite.


Michele Bachmann’s Homophobia: Is it Reaction Formation?

Michele Bachmann and family

A couple of days ago, I read a fascinating piece about Michele Bachmann by The Daily Beast’s Michelle Goldberg. If you haven’t read it yet, please do. It’s a real eye-opener, and the information in it spurred me on a voyage of discovery across the internet as I tried to understand what happened to this woman to cause her to embrace her bizarre religious beliefs and her extreme right-wing political ideology. For the purposes of this post, I want to focus primarily on Bachmann’s homophobia.

Goldberg begins her article with a particularly vivid episode from Bachmann’s tenure in the Minnesota state senate:

In April 2005, Pamela Arnold wanted to talk to her state senator, Michele Bachmann, who was then running for Congress. A 46-year-old who worked at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Arnold lived with her partner, the famed Arctic explorer Ann Bancroft, on a farm in Scandia, Minnesota. Bachmann was then leading the fight against gay marriage in the state. She’d recently been in the news for hiding in the bushes to observe a gay rights rally at the Capitol. So when members of the Scandia gay community decided to attend one of Bachmann’s constituent forums, Arnold, wanting to make herself visible to her representative, joined them.

A few dozen people showed up at the town hall for the April 9 event, and Bachmann greeted them warmly. But when, during the question and answer session, the topic turned to gay marriage, Bachmann ended the meeting 20 minutes early and rushed to the bathroom. Hoping to speak to her, Arnold and another middle-aged woman, a former nun, followed her. As Bachmann washed her hands and Arnold looked on, the ex-nun tried to talk to her about theology. Suddenly, after less than a minute, Bachmann let out a shriek. “Help!” she screamed. “Help! I’m being held against my will!”

Arnold, who is just over 5 feet tall, was stunned, and hurried to open the door. Bachmann bolted out and fled, crying, to an SUV outside. Then she called the police, saying, according to the police report, that she was “absolutely terrified and has never been that terrorized before as she had no idea what those two women were going to do to her.” The Washington County attorney, however, declined to press charges, writing in a memo, “It seems clear from the statements given by both women that they simply wanted to discuss certain issues further with Ms. Bachmann.”

Bachmann’s anxiety at being confronted by three lesbians was so extreme that instead of either responding to their questions or politely excusing herself and calmly walking away, she screamed, cried, and called the police!

Now let’s look at the previous episode when Bachmann was photographed hiding behind bushes to covertly watch a gay rights rally. The context was that Bachmann had just left the State Senate after proposing a bill to ban gay marriage in Minnesota.

“The state Senate on Thursday rejected an effort to force a floor vote on a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage as thousands of ban opponents rallied outside the Capitol. Sen. Michele Bachmann, the Stillwater Republican who’s led the push for the ban, said Senate Democrats have denied her repeated efforts to get the bill heard. Senate leaders countered that Bachmann, a candidate for the U.S. House, is flouting Senate rules to advance her own political career. At the same time, about 2,500 gays, lesbians and their supporters attended a rally on the Capitol grounds just a few hundred yards away, organized by OutFront Minnesota.” [Star Tribune]

After the move didn’t pan out, Michele took to hiding in the bushes to watch the queers rally

Another story reports that during the hearing 100 of the rally participants

…filed inside the Capitol building and took their place in the Senate gallery overlooking the proceedings. With a crowd on hand, Bachmann issued a motion to bypass the committee and have the floor vote on the bill right then and there–a highly unusual move in state Senate proceedings. Even more bizarre: While making her case, she addressed not the Senate floor as per protocol, but the gallery above.

In my opinion, these out-of-proportion reactions suggest that Bachmann’s extreme homophobia is a cover for deep fears that she has about herself or people close to her. I believe she is unconsciously engaging in the defense mechanism of reaction formation to deal with this anxiety.

Follow me below the fold…. Read the rest of this entry »


Saturday Night Frights: What the Future of America Could Look Like

For the past two days, Republican movers and shakers have participated in a conference in Washington, DC, sponsored by the Faith and Freedom Coalition. The Faith and Freedom Coalition is the new face of the religious right, but the same old faces are behind the new organization. It is chaired by evil grifter and former Jack Abramoff crony Ralph Reed, who once led the Christian Coalition and is now supposedly experiencing a “political rebirth.”

Just as a reminder of how utterly slimy Ralph Reed is, here is disgraced super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff expressing an opinion about Reed.

This dishonest, repulsive man is one of the kingmakers of the Republican Party.

The Caucus blog at The New York Times had a brief writeup on the Faith and Freedom Conference and what the 2012 Republican hopefuls had to say to them. Here are some samples.

John Huntsman

“I do not believe the Republican Party should focus solely on our economic life to the neglect of our human life,” Jon M. Huntsman Jr. told the audience of several hundred after citing antiabortion laws he signed when governor of Utah.

Tim Pawlenty

opened and closed his remarks with biblical quotes. He said his top four “common-sense principles” for the nation were to turn toward God, protect the unborn, support traditional marriage and keep Americans secure.

Michelle Bachmann

reminded the audience that she home-schooled her five children and ended with a prayer that asked a blessing for President Obama, whom she had sharply criticized moments earlier.

Bachmann also promised to repeal Obamacare.

Mitt Romney tried to convince the audience he believed in the “sanctity of human life” and hated gay marriage, Newt Gingrich didn’t show up, and Ron Paul talked about reinstating the gold standard.

Before you laugh too loudly about this parade of loons, check out what Howard Dean told The Hill today. He’s warning Democrats that the “P” woman could beat Obama in 2012. In face Dean thinks if something isn’t done about the economy and unemployment, anyone who wins the Republican nomination could win the presidency.

Dean says his fellow Democrats should beware of inside-the-Beltway conventional wisdom that Obama would crush Palin in a general-election contest next year.

“I think she could win,” Dean told The Hill in an interview Friday. “She wouldn’t be my first choice if I were a Republican but I think she could win.”

Dean warns the sluggish economy could have more of a political impact than many Washington strategists and pundits assume.

“Any time you have a contest — particularly when unemployment is as high as it is — nobody gets a walkover,” Dean said. “Whoever the Republicans nominate, including people like Sarah Palin, whom the inside-the-Beltway crowd dismisses — my view is if you get the nomination of a major party, you can win the presidency, I don’t care what people write about you inside the Beltway,” Dean said.

Personally, I think Michelle Bachmann is scarier than Quitterella. And potential first lady gentleman Mr. Michelle Bachmann Marcus Bachmann is even scarier than she is. Here he is discussing homosexuality.

This is Marcus Bachmann swishing arriving at a radio station for an interview.

These are the kinds of people who could be running the country if the Democrats don’t get off their duffs and do something about the economy and jobs instead of playing footsie with Mich McConnell, John Boehner, and the rest of the Republican freakazoids. This is no joke, folks. I realize this isn’t a particularly politically correct post, but I do not want to be at the mercy of a bunch of self-hating closet cases and hypocritical christianists who are obsessed with fetuses and throwing old people to the wolves. Democrats need to wake the f*ck up and smell the unemployment.


I just learned way more than I ever wanted to know about Michelle Bachmann

The first time I ever saw Michelle Bachmann was when, as a brand new Congressperson from Minnesota, she hugged and kissed George W. Bush after the State of the Union Address. She was so affectionate toward him that I almost wondered why the Secret Service guys didn’t pull her off him. Here’s a you tube clip in which she explains the incident.

The reason I was reading up on Bachmann is that I was struck by the story at TPM today about Bachmann’s claim that she used to be a liberal Democrat, but she suddenly became an extreme right wing Republican after reading Gore Vidal’s novel Burr. Here’s the transcript of a Bachmann appearance in Michigan in which she recounts the story of her abrupt conversion.

Michigan is a tough state, but I do believe that Democrats, independents, Republicans, all make up fair-minded, reasonable people. I say that because I grew up in a Democrat state, and I have to share a little secret with you: I was a Democrat when I grew up. Because in Minnesota, they stamp that on your birth certificate! You know that, that’s how it works.

I didn’t realize until I went off to college one day — this is the honest to God truth — I was going off to college, and I was reading this snotty novel. It was written by Gore Vidal, and I was maybe like a junior in college, or — yeah, I think was maybe a junior in college. I was reading this snotty novel, and he was going after our Founders. And he was mocking them. And he was making fun out of them.

I was a reasonable, fair-minded Democrat. And another secret you need to know: My husband and I met in college. We worked on Jimmy Carter’s presidential campaign. It’s true, it’s true. This is like a 12-step meeting here today, you know that. Because I am here to admit to you, I’m a Minnesotan who had “DFL” – that’s what we call Democrats in our state — stamped on my birth certificate, worked for Jimmy Carter. The first time I ever went to Washington, DC, I went to dance at Jimmy Carter’s inaugural ball! It gets worse!

Until I was reading this snotty novel called ‘Burr,’ by Gore Vidal, and read how he mocked our Founding Fathers. And as a reasonable, decent, fair-minded person who happened to be a Democrat, I thought, ‘You know what? What he’s writing about, this mocking of people that I revere, and the country that I love, and that I would lay my life down to defend — just like every one of you in this room would, and as many of you in this room have when you wore the uniform of this great country — I knew that that was not representative of my country.

And at that point I put the book down and I laughed. I was riding a train. I looked out the window and I said, ‘You know what? I think I must be a Republican. I don’t think I’m a Democrat.’

And from that moment on, I recognized that it was the Republican Party, and conservatives in particular, who really got America — who we are, what we stand for, and are unashamed about the values that the Founders lived and died and shed their blood and their treasure for.

Good Grief! I can see why someone might think Gore Vidal is “snotty” (did she mean “snooty” or maybe “snobby”?) but he isn’t any more so than, say, William F. Buckley was.

At Salon’s War Room, Alex Pareene writes:

In my perhaps unrepresentative experience, Vidal’s historical fiction — especially “Burr” and “Lincoln” — are the only things Vidal ever wrote that conservatives like. (I mean, thank god Michele didn’t pick up “Myra Breckenridge.”) But those are the conservatives who, I guess, are adult enough to read a mostly historically accurate account of the Revolution in which the Founders are portrayed as recognizably human and not become offended that the book is not a literary adaption of the Schoolhouse Rock classic “No More Kings.”

OMG, what would have become of Bachmann if she had read Myra Breckenridge! I hate to even think about it.

Anyway, it turns out that Bachmann has been telling her silly conversion story for years. Pareene dug up several examples. The funniest one is an interview with George Will.

Bachmann, an authentic representative of the Republican base, had quite enough on her plate before politics. She and Marcus, a clinical psychologist, were raising their children — they had four then; they have five now — and, as foster parents, were raising some other people’s children, 23 of them, a few teenagers at a time.

Born in Iowa but a Minnesotan by age 12, Bachmann acquired what she calls “her family’s Hubert Humphrey knee-jerk liberalism.” She and her husband danced at Jimmy Carter’s inauguration. Shortly thereafter, however, she was riding on a train and reading Gore Vidal’s novel “Burr,” which is suffused with that author’s jaundiced view of America. “I set the book down on my lap, looked out the window and thought: ‘That’s not the America I know.’ ” She volunteered for Reagan in 1980.

Bachmann is married to a clinical psychologist? Wow, I’m going to have to take some time to digest that.

Oh wait, I just looked at his academic credentials:

Dr. Marcus Bachmann, president of Bachmann & Associates, has been a clinical therapist in the Twin Cities for more than 18 years. Marcus is a popular conference speaker with practical insights, biblical principles, and humor interwoven in his messages.

I believe my call is to minister to the needs of people in a practical, caring and sensitive way.

Dr. Bachmann received his Masters degree in education/counseling from Regent University located in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He received his Doctorate degree in clinical psychology from Union Graduate Institute located in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Are those places even accredited?