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Dec 30 2011

Slow news day, I guess

Good god, media, I DON’T CARE ABOUT IOWA ANY MORE. It’s a freakish little local contest dominated by hardcore fanatics, and the only reason the results will mean anything is that the media will do its best to pump up the outcome into a portent of things to come. So when I saw this headline in the Minneapolis Star Tribune at the coffee shop today, I just set it aside, disgusted, disinterested, and disenchanted.

Bachmann isn’t going to win. Even if she did, she’s one lunatic among a field of demented dwarfs.

What headline next, Strib? “SARAH PALIN: STILL IRRELEVANT”? How about “JOHN MCCAIN AIN’T DEAD YET” or “SASQUATCH PROBABLY WON’T WIN REPUBLICAN NOMINATION”?

I’m ready to call for a return of party bosses in smoke-filled rooms; this obsession with turning politics into a horse race, with every news source fussing over percentage points, is making a joke of democracy.

The only “points” we should be discussing are the substance of their policies.

65 comments

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  1. 1
    Sastra

    Actually, the way it’s going, Sasquatch would probably stand a decent chance.

  2. 2
    Cipher

    Why “dwarfs”?

  3. 3
    'Tis Himself

    Actually, the way it’s going, Sasquatch would probably stand a decent chance.

    No, Sasquatch is too hard to pin down on specifics.

  4. 4
    Glen Davidson

    Well obviously it’s Minnesota news, considering the district that she represents. Dull “news” for sure, but there’d be people in Minnesota wondering why Strib wasn’t reporting on Bachmann, for better or worse.

    I don’t care, but I care about as little about politics as its participants do about me. I really can’t fault a newspaper covering news of local interest, however, especially as that increasingly becomes the newspapers’ remaining niche.

    Glen Davidson

  5. 5
    llewelly

    SASQUATCH IS A MUSLIM HE VOTED FOR OBAMACARE HE VOTED FOR THE DEATH PANELS AND HE VOTED FOR GLOBAL WARMING!!

  6. 6
    Irène Delse, on dry land among seabirds

    @ Classical Cipher:

    Because of their intellectual stature?

  7. 7
    Randomfactor

    Why “dwarfs”?

    Because the pygmies are Democrats.

  8. 8
    oc1dean

    But I want her covered in order to hopefully expose her for the crazed person she is. Maybe her district will come to its senses

  9. 9
    feralboy12

    I really can’t fault a newspaper covering news of local interest, however, especially as that increasingly becomes the newspapers’ remaining niche.

    Hard to see the justification for the Pearl Harbor-sized headline, however.

  10. 10
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    Hmph. “Dwarrows”, please.

  11. 11
    NovaC

    Llewelly

    Bwahahahahahahaahahahah!

    Sounds eerily like those faux news watchers that have gone full bore guano!

  12. 12
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Evils gives up big for the next Miss America

  13. 13
    Zeno

    In other news, Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.

  14. 14
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    that would be elvis

  15. 15
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    and bid

    ok i think that’s enough from me for the year.

  16. 16
    Stardrake

    I was amused to see her book on the 50% off table at the B&N near Southdale (that’s a mall in the southern Minneapolis suburbs, for our non-Minnesota friends). I also noted a similar markdown on Amazon.

    It’s been out for just over a month! In political season!

    That’s an even better indicator that she is the proverbial toast.

    (I mentioned the Amazon markdown to my lady while writing this post–we then broke out in a chorus of “Schadenfreude” from AVENUE Q!)

  17. 17
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Good news, everybody. PZ gets to get Bachmann as his representative.

  18. 18
    thewhollynone

    When I see a front page spread like that in my local newspaper, I immediately know that for the next week or so there will be a full page ad paid for by that person or some political committee. Newspapers these days, particularly local or regional papers, must sell advertizing to stay barely alive and to do that they have to throw in front page fluff pieces about the advertizer, whether it’s a politician or a car salesman or the president of the local bank. Nobody takes their journalism seriously anymore. Your Minneapolis Star Tribune is just kowtowing to the local congressperson who is buying ad space with campaign money. It’s capitalism in action! Use the newspaper to line your birdcage.

    And yes, your congresswoman really is a dingbat and an embarassment to feminists everywhere. I share your pain.

  19. 19
    Kamaka

    @ janine

    I know you play rough and all, but that is mean even for you.

  20. 20
    shouldbeworking

    Sasquatch would have the same problems as Obama. Given the number and locations of sightings, there is evidence that Sasquatch was born in Canada and freely crosses the border without a passport. He is most lkely an animist, not muslim. Homeland Security and Fakes News should be informed at once.

  21. 21
    shouldbeworking

    Bachmann is probably doing a better job as PZ’s representative when she running for president than if she was actually occupying her seat in congress. She’s less likely to do some real harm to your country.

  22. 22
    sprocket

    Well since it’s a slow news day (forgive the off topic post) this needs to be pharyngulated:

    Do you think Muslim prayers should be allowed in school?

    http://www.citytv.com/toronto/citynews/news/local/article/144877–groups-protest-muslim-prayers-at-toronto-public-school

    Poll on left side down a bit.

  23. 23
    Kamaka

    your congresswoman really is a dingbat

    Dingbat? OK. But she’s a dominionist, which makes her a dangerous dingbat.

  24. 24
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Kamaka, I was assuming that everyone here is geeky enough to know the Professor Farnsworth way of introducing bad news. Just imagine that I am an one hundred and seventy year old mad scientist.

  25. 25
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Dingbat? Edith Bunker is much more intelligent and more wise than Michelle Bachmann.

  26. 26
    Kamaka

    @ janine

    Just imagine that I am an one hundred and seventy year old mad scientist.

    I’ll get to work on that, you big meany.

  27. 27
  28. 28
    strange gods before me ॐ

    She looks like she’s about to be raptured any minute.

  29. 29
    strange gods before me ॐ

    That or she already is rising up into the sky.

  30. 30
    Kamaka

    @ janine

    Hmm, I had a different mental image of you.

    But if that is your projection, so be it.

  31. 31
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Will this work for you, Kamaka? I think it is mean enough.

  32. 32
    frankb

    As an Iowan, I enjoy seeing crazed Minnesotan. Take that you gophers. Is she standing on a chair in that photo? I can’t picture any of the other candidates doing that. Maybe she lost all her staff so there is no one to get her something to stand on.

  33. 33
    JohnnieCanuck

    re dwarfs:

    http://agirlandherfed.com/1.954.html

  34. 34
    shouldbeworking

    When I first glanced at the headline I thought it said “run out of Iowa”. No such luch, I guess.

  35. 35
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Frankb, Bachmann is from Waterloo, Iowa. As was John Wayne Gacy, not the Duke.

  36. 36
    crowepps

    Why “dwarfs”?

    Because there are seven?

  37. 37
    boskerbonzer

    “Why dwarfs?”

    Because it’s more PC than mental midgets or tiny ‘tards or miniscule morons.

  38. 38
    anuran

    Maybe time is running out for Bachmann. But according to the Philadelphia Inquirer Santorum Surges From Behind.

  39. 39
    Ragutis

    But according to the Philadelphia Inquirer Santorum Surges From Behind.

    Best. Headline. EVER.

  40. 40
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @22. sprocket : 30th December 2011 at 10:06 pm

    Voted.

    ***

    Do you think Muslim prayers should be allowed in school?
    Yes (61%) No (39%) Back to Poll

    ***

    As usual they didn’t have enough good options available, eg.

    There should be NO prayers of any sort in school. Sigh.

  41. 41
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @shouldbeworking : 30th December 2011 at 10:05 pm

    Bachmann is probably doing a better job as PZ’s representative when she running for president than if she was actually occupying her seat in congress. She’s less likely to do some real harm to your country.

    Yup. Sad but true.

    @shouldbeworking : 30 December 2011 at 10:51 pm

    When I first glanced at the headline I thought it said “run out of Iowa”. No such luck, I guess.

    If only. Sigh.

  42. 42
    stubby

    That was kind of a dick move for god to tell her to run and then not help her campaign.

  43. 43
    chigau (違う)

    anuran
    One of the comments contained “…if Santorum really does slip from the rear…”
    I’m not american and I had never heard of Santorum before the new definition, so he is not the first thing I think of.
    Very few of the commenters seem aware of it.

  44. 44
    anuran

    Chigau, I’m just wondering why the editor let that one through.

  45. 45
    TimKO,,.,,

    It truly is bizarre that the media are obsessing about a prelim caucus as never before; there is REAL shit happening in the world! Historically, candidates that do well at the caucus in Iowa are forgotten a few months down the road. And hey the media IGNORES the Alaska and Hawaii caucuses (caucii?)…Cockeye? Average Joe sure doesn’t give a shit this early. Like Will Rogers said, they wait until election day , check their pocketbook, and decide.

  46. 46
    CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain

    They’re not demented lunatics.
    They’re just speaking in code. :P
    Video: BoingBoing – Penn Jillette’s Guide to the Election

  47. 47
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    The Republicans have had so many debates already – but have they had one yet that touches on anything remotely science~y like about the reality (& classroom teaching) of evolution, HIRGO* or space exploration policy?

    Will they actually have such a debate at some point? (Imagines PZ Myers or Phil Plait or NdG Tyson moderating – grins!)

    In some ways, like watching a train wreck, it has its own morbid fascination to this Aussie.

    Given the choice – which I’m not – I’d vote for Bigfoot over all of them. The one I’d like to win is Jon Huntsman but I think Mitt Romney is looking most likely and is about the second least bad of a very bad bunch.

    Problem with politics is that whoever gets in you’ve elected a politician.

    I have to say your US system of politics and governance makes very little sense to me. But then it seems to work for you in the States so what can I do or say? Not much & I’ve probably said too much as it is..

    Just one thing : Please don’t elect someone utterly crazy in 2012 like Bachmann. Please!

    (Not that I think you will but .. a slight concern given the US’s global powerand influence esp. over us here in Oz. Also I do like y’all in the States and want things to go well for y’all too.)

    ———————–

    * Human Induced Rapid Global Overheating – a better, more honest and straightforward descriptive term than just “global warming” I think.

  48. 48
    Seabisquick

    Republican Iowa caucus winners:
    2008: Mike Huckabee
    2004*: George W. Bush
    2000: George W. Bush
    1996: Bob Dole
    1992*: George H.W. Bush
    1988: Bob Dole
    1984*: Ronald Reagan
    1980: George H.W. Bush

    *2004, 1992, and 1984 were years of an incumbent nominee, so the winner ran unopposed. So out of the five times that there was an actual contest (1980, 1988, 1996, 2000, 2008):

    The Iowa caucus picked the eventual nominee: 2/5
    The winner of the Iowa caucus was elected president: 1/5
    Iowa picked the winner in years when a republican won the presidency: 1/3

    Unimpressive. Certainly not worthy of the hype.

  49. 49
    shouldbeworking

    We Canucks have sort of a selfish interest in the outcome of your election too. Your republican candidates seem too far to the right or outright loonie for even most of our right wing politicians. Every four years I learn something about your election system. It works (most of the time), but the details make quantum physics seem comprehensible.

    Bigfoot may not be eligible as a republican, he might be too well educated and isn’t a lawyer.

  50. 50
    DLC

    I am also sick of the dog-and-pony show. The race is all about : who can be further to the right, who can be more Jesus-soaked and hate-filled, and who can pander to the Lowest Common Denominator the most. None of the current contestants has any decency. Not that Obama is exactly Mr Perfect, but compared to those guys he’s wondrous.

  51. 51
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Good god, media, I DON’T CARE ABOUT IOWA ANY MORE.

    Huh. I’m kind of surprised that you ever cared about Iowa, PZ. Spoiler alert: Romney’s gonna get the nom, so who the fuck cares about the petty power struggles amongst the rest of the candidates? It’s not even particularly good political theater.

  52. 52
    Aquaria

    The Republicans have had so many debates already – but have they had one yet that touches on anything remotely science~y like about the reality (& classroom teaching) of evolution, HIRGO* or space exploration policy?

    Will they actually have such a debate at some point? (Imagines PZ Myers or Phil Plait or NdG Tyson moderating – grins!)

    Why have a whole debate for 7 douchebag cabbages with legs to bob in sync and chant, “Science is wrong, there is no evolution and no climate change!”?

  53. 53
    humanape

    she’s one lunatic among a field of demented dwarfs.

    I totally agree except for Jon Huntsman who warned the other candidates that their denial of basic scientific facts makes it impossible for intelligent people to vote for them.

    Huntsman is a Republican so he has different ideas than Obama, but he was the only Republican candidate who agreed with Obama’s decision to get out of Iraq now. Of course virtually no Republicans will be voting for Huntsman because he isn’t stupid enough.

  54. 54
    Kristjan Wager

    Why “dwarfs”?

    I am guess it is a reference to this

  55. 55
    Naked Bunny with a Whip

    Bachmann is Minnesota’s hardcore fanatic, otherwise the StarTrib would have stopped talking about her weeks ago, like everyone else.

    I live in Iowa. I can’t even watch a YouTube video without getting a Mitt Romney pre-view ad now. So trust me, I’m as sick of Iowa as you are.

  56. 56
    littlejohn

    “Running out of time” is a euphemism for nearing death. So this could be good news.

  57. 57
    nmscorpions

    The Republican primaries should come with a warning label.

    CAUTION: use for entertainment purposes ONLY.

    As for Bachmann, she was pretty much irrelevant from the moment she announced her candidacy. Her meaningless “win” of the Iowa straw poll just got her enough attention from TV comedians to make her the butt joke of the year.

  58. 58
    CHARLES

    Pleas remember that this is the contest that has produced the memorable headline “Santorum Surges” (Sacramento Bee)

    I didn’t say it was a good memory …

  59. 59
    mekathleen

    It’s not a slow news day, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act, codifying into law the civil rights abuses that the Executive Branch has been engaging in since the Bush era and paving the way for war with Iran.

    And on the bright side, the Howard County Council in Maryland just passed a gender identity protection ordinance. Some political officers believe in civil rights – for EVERYONE. Yay!

  60. 60
    mekathleen

    I think Bachman’s main function is to help the press distract people from more serious, but less kooky, news.

  61. 61
    richardgadsden

    I’m ready to call for a return of party bosses in smoke-filled rooms; this obsession with turning politics into a horse race, with every news source fussing over percentage points, is making a joke of democracy.

    Doesn’t help. Just results in party polls rather than candidate polls, and every twitch of the Dem-vs-Rep president number getting obsessed over instead.

    Believe me, we have the party bosses (the smoke-filled rooms are now smoke-free, but nothing else has changed) and that’s what happens here in the UK.

  62. 62
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Aquaria : 31 December 2011 at 8:24 am

    “Will they actually have such a debate [about things science related] at some point? (Imagines PZ Myers or Phil Plait or NdG Tyson moderating – grins!)”
    Why have a whole debate for 7 douchebag cabbages with legs to bob in sync and chant, “Science is wrong, there is no evolution and no climate change!”?

    Because I’d like to hope – really hope – there may be something a bit *more* than just that happen.

    Also, I guess, so we know just *how* bad they all are and whose worst and least worst out of them.

    But, yeah, you’re probably right.

  63. 63
    mekathleen

    In Illinois we have the smoke filled rooms. By agreement, everyone but the crazies drops out before the election. It looks a lot like the current Republican field and Obama. Everyone who could challenge the party choice has “quiet talks” with Rahm Emanuel and decides to focus on other things.

  64. 64
    Rey Fox

    I think this is what you mean.

  65. 65
    chippanfire

    If I were to use an insult based on racist or sexist language I would be flamed to death here. And rightly so. So please stop using disabilities as a term of abuse. It is equally unnecessary and equally disgusting.

    Thank you.

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