Our favorite crazy congresswoman is not only embarrassing us in the United States—her unique charm has earned her a spot on an international list of shame.
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-America circa 1950) received the number-five spot from the British newspaper The Guardian. She won the dubious honor by saying that the media should investigate members of Congress for anti-American views. The Guardian says it was the "single most appalling political statement of the year."
Bachmann was edged out by Bernie Madoff, Sarah Palin, George Bush, and Rod Blagojevich in "America's Hall of Shame" but beat Dick Cheney and Joe the Plumber. Congrats again, Bachmann! Keep the honors coming. —Emily Kaiser
Heroes or thieves?
Two Minnesota teens stole a cool quarter-million dollars from a grandfather on Christmas Day. During the next two days, they frittered away the bulk of the booty on a wide array of goodies—"consumable goods," if you will.
We have to hand it to these young chaps. If the past four months of government bailouts have taught us anything, it's that robbing Peter to pay Paul is wholly justified if it's done to perpetuate the unbridled consumerism on which our debt-addled economy depends. (And hey, they bought Fords! Here's your bailout, Detroit!)
If we apply the same moral standards to individuals as those we've come to apply to government, these lootin' dudes should not only be spared from prison—they should be appointed to positions within the U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve. Hank Paulson and Ben Bernanke: Say hello to your new protégés. —Matt Snyders
Selling snow to a Minnesotan
Most of us can brush off a little snark from some asshole on the internet. But when Matt Drudge decided to run down Duluth, the mayor went ballistic.
The Drudge headline, which linked to a Star Tribune story on some of the ridiculous requests coming from cities in Minnesota, read, "Stimulus: $6 million to make snow—in Minnesota...."
Anyone who has spent the last week shoveling will no doubt appreciate the irony.
Duluth Mayor Don Ness was quick to respond, explaining that the purchase of snow is still very much up in the air.
"This was not a prioritized list, and the projects we submit to the formal process will be a much more refined list," he wrote.
And one clarification he'd like to make clear: The whole snow-creation idea wasn't the city's. Blame Spirit Mountain ski resort. —Emily Kaiser
About that snow...
Last month in the Twin Cities was the 14th-snowiest December on record, according to the National Weather Service. Average snowfall for the month is 10 inches; the Twin Cities got 17.4 in 2008.
The month was the fourth-snowiest on record for both St. Cloud and Eau Claire, with 23 inches and 25 inches, respectively.
Weather is fickle, so there's no way to know what January holds. Keep your hat and gloves nearby. —Erin Carlyle
If you ever thought your vote didn't count, think again. Al Franken's lead of just 225 votes over Norm Coleman was certified Monday afternoon by the Minnesota Canvassing Board. The official total sort of makes Franken the winner, but it's not over yet.
The official results are now as follows: Franken has 1,212,431 votes to Coleman's 1,212,206.
Talk about a close race!
Coleman's campaign received its biggest blow Monday morning when the Minnesota Supreme Court denied his request to add more than 600 rejected absentee votes to the pile. These votes were found by the campaign and not selected by local election officials.
Franken, who has largely been out of the public eye since Election Day, didn't hesitate to declare himself the victor Monday afternoon. "After 62 days of careful, painstaking hand inspections, I am proud to stand before you as your next senator," Franken said.
But Coleman's attorney says, "Not so fast!" The campaign will contest the election in court, leaving another couple of weeks of drama to unfold. Coleman's chance of pulling this off is unlikely according to most analysts, but the state won't officially seat a senator until the contest is resolved.
We'd like to remind our loyal readers of how Coleman felt about the election back when he was ahead of Franken. He told Minnesotans that if he were in Franken's pathetic, loser-like place, he would be the better man and concede in order to let the state heal from a tough campaign.
So how about it, Norm? Isn't it time for healing? —Emily Kaiser