Live Blog: Caucus Results…Will Man on Dog Prevail?

Oh Boy!

What a day…one minute we are getting news that Karen Handel is now Quiterella II, Prop 8 gets voted down, Obama may cave to the Catholic Religious Right and Santorum may actually carry the three states having Primary Elections/Caucuses tonight.

A protestor "glitter bombed" Rick Santorum at a campaign rally in Blaine, Minn., on Tuesday.
Ben Garvin/Getty ImagesA protestor “glitter bombed” Rick Santorum at a campaign rally in Blaine, Minn., on Tuesday.

Mitt Romney’s campaign sought to downplay the importance of three non-binding presidential contests Tuesday evening, as one of the former Massachusetts governor’s underdog challengers aimed to revive his flagging campaign through strong performances in several low-profile contests.

Rick Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator and Iowa caucus winner who has struggled to break through in national polls, hoped that by upsetting Romney and conservative challenger Newt Gingrich in one or more of the evening’s votes, he could emerge as Romney’s most formidable opponent on the right.

Republicans in Minnesota and Colorado were set to head to caucus sites, while voters in Missouri have been casting ballots in a presidential preference poll (an actual caucus vote will be held on March 17). Delegates are not technically awarded in the three contests tonight, but will be bestowed later in state party meetings.

Still, campaigning in Blaine Tuesday afternoon, Santorum spun the day as a potential turning point in the Republican presidential primary.

“I feel great that Minnesota is going to change the direction of this race tonight,” Santorum said.

Romney is not looking to win big: Romney Camp Sets Expectations To Zero For Tuesday Contests | TPM2012

Tuesday night sees GOP caucus contests in Colorado, Missouri and Minnesota. And it would seem the Romney campaign’s internal polling suggests things aren’t looking too great for the GOP frontrunner in any of them. His team is scrambling to submerge expectations to ocean-floor depths, sending out a memo downplaying the contests’ importance and stressing that the March 6 Super Tuesday states should be the real test of Romney’s momentum.

The polls in Missouri close at 8pm…Minnesota caucuses begin at that time so let’s just get down to the results.

Here are some sites where you can find the results…

H/T Boston Boomer for this link:

Here Come The Results GOP Candidates Tested In Three More States Talking Points Memo | Breaking News and Analysis | TPM

The remaining GOP presidential candidates face tests in three states tonight: Missouri, Colorado and Minnesota. Follow every twist and turn at TPMLiveWire.


Live blog of Tuesday’s GOP contests – CNN Political Ticker – Blogs

Seventy delegates are at stake in Tuesday’s Republican presidential contests, the largest haul to date in the race for the White House. Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul are vying for the delegates up for grabs in the Colorado and Minnesota caucuses. No delegates are at stake in the non-binding Missouri primary.

You can follow election results on Twitter with hashtag: #cnnelections

This should get you caught up until now:

7:24 p.m. ET – Bachmann said the Minnesota caucuses “literally could go to any of the four candidates.”

And although she said she doesn’t regret dropping her White House bid, she did say, “I miss the debates most of all.”

7:21 p.m. ET – Former presidential candidate and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann said she did not participate in her state’s caucuses because she was doing her job in the House. She told @wolfblitzercnn she “would be if I could.”

7:17 p.m. ET@stevebruskCNN: Where next? Romney campaigns (and raises $$) in Atlanta tomorrow. Gingrich tours Cleveland plant. Santorum holds events in Dallas area.

For the State of Colorado Republican Party Caucus Results

For the State Of Missouri | Election Night Reporting

Minnesota caucuses: results, visits and political geography – 2012 Campaign Republican Primary Tracker – The Washington Post – The Washington Post

Politics and Government – 2012 Presidential Watch – The Caucus Blog –

We will keep things updated in the comments below, see you there.

Nevada Caucuses Open Thread

Mr. 1% addresses a campaign rally in Colorado Springs

I thought I’d put up a thread about the Nevada Caucuses. Official results will be coming in soon, but as of now it looks like another big win for Romney. Reuters:

Early vote results reported by CNN showed Romney grabbing a big lead. With 3 percent of precincts counted, Romney had 52 percent, well ahead of U.S. Representative Ron Paul’s 20 percent. Former U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich was in third with 19 percent and former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum was last with 9 percent.

As for Mitt, he’s already in Colorado.

Flanked by four young grandchildren, a buoyant-looking Mitt Romney strode across the tarmac here [Colorado Springs] early Saturday afternoon, creating a perfectly posed American family tableau on the day that Nevadans voted for their choices to be the Republican presidential nominee.

He had reason to look upbeat; early returns from Nevada caucuses indicate a decisive win — which would make it the second state he has won in a row, and the third total — boosting the narrative of his inevitability, which briefly seemed in doubt after he was routed in South Carolina by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Colorado’s caucuses take place Tuesday.

Rick Santorum is also in Colorado and Ron Paul has moved on to Minnesota.

According to TPM, Newt Gingrich, who spent very little money or effort on Nevada, announced his upcoming campaign schedule just a short time ago, seemingly indicating that he plans to fight on.

Earlier, TPM reported that Gingrich had sent out an e-mail to supporters saying “we still have 45 states to go.” Gingrich held a meeting with about 60 donors earlier this afternoon. Sugar daddy Sheldon Adelson was at the meeting, so I assume he plans to keep supporting Gingrich for now. The NYT reported today that Adelson is open to supporting Romney in the general.

Ron Paul is saying he believes he’ll come in second in Nevada. According to Chris Matthews on MSNBC Paul says he’ll get 25%. That wouldn’t be good for Newt, who really needs to come in second.

I’ll post updates in the comments, but please do treat this as an open thread.

When Obama Said, “Be the Change,” Did He Mean, “Do It Yourself?”

This morning, President Obama set out on a three-day “bus tour” of five tiny towns in three Midwestern states before he returns to his comfort zone among the wealthy elites on Martha’s Vineyard for a ten-day vacation.

According to the National Journal, each of the towns on the tour is in an area that is doing very well economically.

The best part about these towns? They’re doing darn well in the face of the country’s worst economic decline since the Great Depression.

Where the country faces an unemployment rate stubbornly stuck in the 9-point range, the four counties Obama will visit top out at 7.7 percent in Henry County, Ill. The lowest, in Winnishiek County, Iowa, is a mere 5.9 percent.

Part of the reason the town mayors all said they escaped the perils of the recession is that none relied heavily on hard-hit industries like construction. Most have diverse industries, split between a small amount of manufacturing and typical Midwestern agriculture. So when Obama goes to “discuss ways to grow the economy, strengthen the middle class and accelerate hiring in communities and towns across the nation,” he’ll be talking to success stories. As cameras flood in, they won’t find closed-down plants or houses with foreclosure signs; they’ll find picturesque small farms, and, in Alpha, Ill., an 8-acre corn maze.

However, a difficult issue for the Obama is that the towns he will visit are

overwhelmingly white; so white that 2010 census figures suggest Obama will be the only black person in Atkinson, Ill., when he visits on Wednesday. That image may be neutral among, say, white, working-class voters, with whom Obama has struggled in recent elections. It won’t look as good to the African-American community, which has been particularly hard hit by the recession.

African-American unemployment hovers at 16.2 percent, the highest for any ethnic group and double the rate of unemployment for whites. While Obama spends the beginning of the week in three cities with white populations over 93 percent, the Congressional Black Caucus will be hosting job fairs, seminars and job readiness workshops in struggling cities over the August recess, hoping to connect unemployed African-Americans with employers in Detroit, Miami, Atlanta, and Los Angeles. The bus tour may not sit well with the CBC, either: Obama will not be attending any of the Congressional Black Caucus events.

That’s pretty troubling, although not surprising. You’d think if the taxpayers are covering the expenses, the President could at least talk to some people who are suffering the worst consequences of the Great Recession.

Jay Leno got off a couple of middling-funny cracks about the trip and the U.S. economy last night.

Leno: President Obama is off on his three-state bus tour this week. I believe the three states are Confusion, Delusion and Desperation.

Leno: More fallout from that Standard & Poor’s credit downgrading of the U.S.. Today England, France and Germany unfriended us on Facebook.

Leno: Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner will stay on with President Obama and not join the private sector. Thanks to his economic policies there are no private sector jobs.

Okay, I thought you could use a little comic relief. Now back to Obama’s road trip.

The head of the RNC Reince Priebus followed Obama to his first stop, Cannon Falls, MN, where he made his own failed attempt at humor, referring to the President’s trip as “Obama’s Debt-End Tour.” Frankly, I don’t get it. But Mitt Romney had a better one, the “Magical Misery Tour.”

None of the articles I’ve read say whether the President will actually ride on a bus from place to place, but I did learn that the Secret Service recently purchased two buses that will be used on the trip. The White House insists this is not a campaign swing, but an “official trip,” so we taxpayers will be picking up the tab.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Late Night: Is Tim Pawlenty Secretly Pro-Choice?

Tim Pawlenty, "closet moderate"

Wow, breaking news! I know Mitt Romney isn’t really anti-abortion, but Tim Pawlenty? In an op-ed headlined “The Manufactured Candidate,” Shawn Lawrence Otto, a long-time acquaintance of the Minnesota Governor and GOP presidential candidate, claims that Pawlenty told him he was “personally pro-choice.”

I’ve known Pawlenty since he was a young Republican state representative from Eagan, Minn. We had some of the same friends and used to golf together once in a while. His campaign treasurer was my accountant…

Pawlenty is a very talented guy, and I respected his opinion. His first question was, “What’s your position on choice?” I hadn’t ever been asked the question quite so pointedly. “You’ve got to take a stand on that first,” he said. “Well,” I said, “OK. I don’t like abortion; I think it’s a really tough personal decision, but not something the government should be getting into one way or the other, so I guess I’m pro-choice.”

He looked at me over his lunch and said, “Well personally, so am I, but here’s the thing. You’ve got to find a way to get your mind around the language of saying ‘pro-life.’ It’s in how you phrase it.”

I’ve since learned I’m not the only one Pawlenty has said this to.

This is the political reality for Republicans. You have to pretend to be crazy to get elected.

Otto isn’t comfortable with what he sees happening in the GOP:

This integrity issue doesn’t seem to bother Pawlenty the way it bothers me. He’s wanted to be president for as long as I’ve known him, and ambition can cause principles to take a back seat. He has shown a similar cynicism in his more recent about-faces on climate change and health care, stunning many Minnesotans and former allies and causing some to wonder: Do you really have to sell your soul to succeed in Republican politics?

The answer seems to be yes. And judging by the non-reaction of Democrats to the war on women taking place around the country, they are learning to accept same “reality.” And as a result, millions of women will suffer and die because of the disgusting cowardice of these amoral politicians.

As Bob Dylan wrote in another context, “we’re only a pawn in their game.”

Wednesday Reads: BO, No Bagel, Naughty Monks and Flying Phallic Trees of Life

Good Morning! Minx here with your Wednesday reads, and today we are focusing on Planned Parenthood and the consequences of defunding.  We are also going to take a look at a new blog on HuffPo, a NYC Upper West Side legendary bagel joint, and a  Medieval fact check on Cracked Magazine.

First, over in Indiana, the donated funds have run out…and Planned Parenthood is officially closing it’s doors. Indiana Law Forces Planned Parenthood Clinics To Close And Stop Treating Thousands Of Medicaid Patients | ThinkProgress

The first to defund Planned Parenthood, Indiana passed a law that cuts state and Medicaid funding to the organization’s 28 clinics in the state (only four of which provide abortion services). In effect since May 10, the law not only eliminates the clinics’ $1.3 million a year in Medicaid funds but also strips them of “roughly $150,000 in funding for prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.” While a record number of donations allowed clinics to continue services, that help ran out yesterday. Now, Indiana’s Planned Parenthood clinics are shutting down operations and leaving thousands of Hoosiers without access to health care:

– According to Indiana Planned Parenthood president Betty Cockrum, the clinics will stop treating Medicaid patients today. “Our 9,300 Medicaid patients, including those who had appointments Tuesday, are going to see their care disrupted.”

– Without the STD prevention funding, Planned Parenthood has to lay off two of their three intervention specialists, or “health workers who track down the partners of someone who tests positive for an STD and ensure they are tested and treated.” Planned Parenthood is now left with a single specialist to address STD testing and treatment for the entire state.

– To reduce costs, all 28 clinics will close tomorrow and employees will be sent home without pay. Only one clinic in Indianapolis will stay open Wednesday but will close Thursday.

Should the law remain in place, Planned Parenthood stated that “it must close eight” of its clinics: “two Indianapolis locations and clinics in Bedford, Hammond, Michigan City, New Albany, Terre Haute and Muncie.” The shuttered clinics would significantly restrict help for the 85,000 Hoosiers the states’ clinics currently serve.

Read the rest of this entry »

There must be Rum in the Rum River … Only possible explanation

There a couple of rummys short of pint living near the Rum River in Minnesota.

There are a couple of rummys short of pint living near the Rum River in Minnesota.

I lived in Minnesota for awhile in the mid 1990s. Thankfully, not this part of Minnesota represented by Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann. Sesame’s Street’s Elmo needs to send some tapes over there to improve the educational results in Lake Elmo and some of her other communities, I fear. I’ve watched committee hearings with questioning by Bachmann and seen her ask questions that have made me question her grasp on just about everything including reality. It must run in the waters of the Rum River, because she’s not the only elected official up there that seems confused. Check this out at Think Progress and Roll Call where one of Bachmann’s constituents, LeRoy Schaffer, a St. Francis city council member evidently showed up in a tuxedo and a top hat to one of her health care town hall meetings and made the following pithy statement.

Shaffer got visibly emotional asking Bachmann about the future of health care and the role of special interests in Washington.

“I’ll be danged if I am going to give up my Social Security because of socialism,” Schaffer said, before being booed by the crowd.

How many in the room think this man probably gets all his information and news from either Rush Limbaugh or

Congress Women Michelle Bachman explains how our she came up with the theory that God Created a Flat Earth in 7 days without the help of Socialists or Communists.

Congress Women Michelle Bachmann explains how she came up with the theory that God Created a Flat Earth in 7 days without the help of Socialists or Communists.

Glenn Beck? Sean Hannity? Bill O’Reilly? Bueller? Bueller?

With deafening cheers and a few jeers, hundreds of people packed a health care town hall meeting Thursday held by U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, some targeting the Republican with the kind of anger previously directed at Democrats.

“Why do you persist on distorting the president’s plan?” asked Ilya Gorodisher, 46, of the Stillwater area, accusing Bachmann of “stretching the truth to the point of lies.”

Bachmann, who represents the Sixth District, defended her claim that President Obama’s plan would crowd out existing private insurers, and suggested Democratic plans were big gambles.

“Washington, D.C., is telling the American people, ‘Trust us,'” she said.

Bachman obviously believes you can’t trust Washington, D.C. However, the Congresswoman, who lives in Washington, D.C. felt she deserved to be trusted on this issue. Bachmann (via the Roll Coll link) gives us this stunning example of why national health care is doomed to fail. Relying on personal anecdotes and faith based reliance on her medical insurance is always a way to prove your case.

At one point, Bachmann told the crowd: “I believe we have the best health care in the world.”

“I far prefer American health care than medical care in the U.K. any day of the week,” Bachmann said.

Lifting a stack of news reports about the health care problems in England, Bachmann told a story about women having to give birth in hospital hallways.

One angry male constituent yelled, “That happens here.” And Bachmann quickly retorted, “I’ve given birth here probably more times than you, sir.”

Elmo sez, that even though the CIA website (according to Glenn Becksters) is subject to frequent hacking and skews data to make other countries look good, you can check out how the US Ranks in infant mortality at

Elmo sez, only Glenn Becksters think the CIA Factbook is subject to frequent hacking and that it skews data to make other countries look good. Smart lil monsters know you can check out how the US ranks in infant mortality at

Since I don’t know any one that’s ever given birth any where but a hospital, it can’t possibly happen here, can it? My eldest daughter delivers babies in hospitals. Of course, I had two daughters while having access to good health care insurance in a hospital so I’m a serious authority on this too. Yup, never have I ever heard of any one having a baby any place else but in a delivery room in, you guessed it, a hospital! The Celestial Teapot has obviously blessed the American Health Insurance Industry personally! I mean, just ignore the U.S. ranking on the number of infant deaths as compared to any other developed economy, or for that matter developing economy. My personal experience obviously trumps it all. Plus, there’s that Celestial Teapot thing. Nah, you’re not buying it are you? Then why do some of the voters in Minnesota? She’s won elections for Teapot’s sake!!!

On a serious note, here are the rankings for Infant Mortality. If you love babies, you want to rank near the bottom not the top so higher numbers are better. Its from the CIA Factbook. Out of 224 countries ranked for 2009, the UK ranked 193. Canada was 189. The United States is number 180 which is one ranking lower than Cuba and one ranking higher than the Faroe Islands. Gee, Congresswoman Bachmann, aren’t you proud to be an American now? Our health care system rations health care so that more potential Republican babies in the US die than Marxist Babies in Cuba. It must be a communist plot!

Please Digg!! Share!! Tweet!!! and keep your fingers crossed that the fine folks in Minnesota wake up and get rid of her in 2010!!

(Oh, and since I brought up RUM you might as well treat this as an open thread with whatever cocktail you can chase down in your neck of the woods.)

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