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Tilting at Windmills

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April 30, 2009

'HOOT-SMALLEY'.... I'm a little late on this one -- I try to limit myself to one Michele Bachmann post a day -- but the Minnesota Laughingstock delivered a doozy of a speech on the House floor this week, which deserves all the attention it's received.

"We were led to believe that we would see great change, immediate change, and all we're seeing is a prolonged effort, because just what happened in the 1930s with FDR.

"The more the government spent, the more the government regulated, the more the government put up tariff barriers -- trade barriers -- the more government intervened, the longer the recession occurred. And as a matter of fact, the recession that FDR had to deal with wasn't as bad as the recession Coolidge had to deal with in the early '20s. Yet, the prescription that Coolidge put on that, from history, is lower taxes, lower regulatory burden, and we saw the roaring '20s where we saw markets and growth in the economy like we never seen before in the history of the country.

"FDR applied just the opposite formula -- the Hoot-Smalley Act, which was a tremendous burden on tariff restrictions, and then, of course, trade barriers and the regulatory burden and tax barriers. That's what we saw happen under FDR. That took a recession and blew it into a full-scale depression. The American people suffered for almost 10 years under that kind of thinking."

Now, the notion that Franklin Roosevelt was responsible for the Great Depression is standard right-wing nonsense, and hardly worth paying attention to. Bachmann's argument, however, is more of a hilarious twist on the usual palaver. Indeed, her version of history suggests the Minnesota Republican is living in some kind of alternate reality. (It would help explain Bachmann's belief that Jimmy Carter was president in 1976 -- perhaps, in her reality, he was.)

It's hard to even know where to start with this. The economy under Coolidge was worse than the Great Depression? That's pretty nutty. The New Deal created the Great Depression? That's certainly yahooism at its finest.

But of particular interest is Bachmann's belief that FDR passed "the Hoot-Smalley Act" and that "took a recession and blew it into a full-scale depression." First, the name of the law was "Smoot-Hawley." Second, it's a real stretch to argue that it was responsible for the Great Depression. And third, the Smoot-Hawley bill was championed by Republicans and signed by Herbert Hoover, FDR's Republican predecessor.

Bachmann is blaming FDR for a law sponsored by Republicans, which was implemented three years before he took office.

At least, that's how it happened in our reality.

Seriously, if Michele Bachmann is some kind of performance artist, she should try some new act.

Steve Benen 8:35 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (73)

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Comments

Dazed and Confused! What else could it be? Pure madness? -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on April 30, 2009 at 8:35 AM | PERMALINK

Please, Ms. Bachman, please keep talking.

That goes for Steel, too. These are wonderfully perfect representatives of the GOP, and Dems need these nut-jobs to make as much noise as possible.

Posted by: JJC on April 30, 2009 at 8:35 AM | PERMALINK

I'd like to see a history book by her.

THE HYSTERI OF THE UNITED STATS
By MICHELLE BACKMAN.

Chapter 1: The Revolushun.
Summary: 'mericuns rebelled against the Empire. It took a while, but they destroyed the Death Star and its evil universal health care.

Posted by: Former Dan on April 30, 2009 at 8:37 AM | PERMALINK

Stuart Smalley! Coincidence? I think not.

Posted by: Ekim on April 30, 2009 at 8:41 AM | PERMALINK

Hoot Smalley -- Wasn't he the cowboy actor who was "good enough, smart enough, and dadgumit, folks liked him?"

Posted by: scott_m on April 30, 2009 at 8:41 AM | PERMALINK

With respect, you're missing the point. Ms. Bachmann is telling stories. Stories don't have to be true. Never look at the storyteller; always look at the audience.

Posted by: Frank Wilhoit on April 30, 2009 at 8:42 AM | PERMALINK

W, Palin, could the Republicans do it again and put another genius on the big ticket? Palin/Bachmann in oh 12! Now, that would be a smoot.

Posted by: dennisS on April 30, 2009 at 8:43 AM | PERMALINK

OTOH:

>Yet, the prescription that Coolidge put on that, from history, is lower taxes, lower regulatory burden, and we saw the roaring '20s where we saw markets and growth in the economy like we never seen before in the history of the count

The idiots are welcome to bring up this progression of increasing favoritism to the richest, followed by a major stock market crash, with the follow-up total economic collapse as often as they want.

BTW, it's looking like the magnitude of our 1st Qtr GDP contraction is once again surprising economists.

People aren't as stupid as mainstream economists, the already see the parallels between now and then. And these parallels ain't favorable to the Club For Growth/Norquist people.

Posted by: doesn't matter on April 30, 2009 at 8:45 AM | PERMALINK

Hillarious, sure, but terrifying too. Doesn't this woman have a staff to check on this stuff?

Posted by: Dan L on April 30, 2009 at 8:46 AM | PERMALINK

That Michele Bachman is kind of hot in a Palin/Malkin/Coulter kind of way. I'd like to f*ck her brains out. Oh, I guess someone already did.

Posted by: Winkandanod on April 30, 2009 at 8:46 AM | PERMALINK

The spectical that is MB can only be explained by a balance between 2 opposing forces, the first being isolation in an echo chamber vacuum, the other being a primal drive to get to the nearest mic or camera, rivaling a salmons need to get to their natal stream.
So glad we could share!

Posted by: the seal on April 30, 2009 at 8:50 AM | PERMALINK

Michele Bachman's speeches are usually a hoot, but figuratively, not literally. Now, she's crossed that line. She's crossed plenty of other lines before, such as the one between "vaguely in touch with the real world" and "utterly delusional."

Posted by: seriously on April 30, 2009 at 8:53 AM | PERMALINK

I have relatives in Minnesota. They are appalled by the dearth of her intellect and embarrased by the ongoing other debackle relating to the "Senatorial election" between Foleman/Cranken. I know, but she would more than likely mix that up too...

Posted by: stevio on April 30, 2009 at 8:53 AM | PERMALINK

Interesting that yesterday, someone named Bethie posted on another thread about Smoot-Hawley - Bethie fast forwarded from Coolidge to FDR and blamed S-H on FDR. So, does Bachmann of the "Axis of Drivel", including Leader Rush and Steeleman, post here? Yes, Bethie, those were, indeed, the days; geez, even our old LaSalle ran great.

Posted by: berttheclock on April 30, 2009 at 8:54 AM | PERMALINK

Smoot: Republican from Utah. Smalley: Republican from Oregon. Signed into law by Hoover: Republican President. Ah, yes, obviously a Democratic conspiracy to cause a Depression!

Posted by: Bobbi on April 30, 2009 at 8:55 AM | PERMALINK

Didn't Bachmann's political career start with advocacy of home schooling, charter schools, intelligent design, and such?

Perfect spokesmodel for them.

Posted by: fuyura on April 30, 2009 at 9:00 AM | PERMALINK

I wish people wouldn't call Bachmann crazy, loony, wacko, etc, when it is quite obvious that the woman is STUPID.

Posted by: hells littlest angel on April 30, 2009 at 9:00 AM | PERMALINK

She has a magnetic way of dealing with those she represents, but it's the end of the magnet that pushes away.

Posted by: The seal on April 30, 2009 at 9:04 AM | PERMALINK

Has this woman never seen Ferris Beuller's Day Off?

Posted by: chrenson on April 30, 2009 at 9:06 AM | PERMALINK

Do they have colleges in Minnesota? Did she attend one?

Posted by: Ron Byers on April 30, 2009 at 9:07 AM | PERMALINK

Smoot: Republican from Utah. Smalley: Republican from Oregon

You mean Hawley. But hey, when confronted with all of Michelle's errors, it's easy to get lost.

Posted by: Vincent on April 30, 2009 at 9:09 AM | PERMALINK

As her material is so bad she can't be making it up, the question becomes, who the hell is feeding her this crap? Followed by Why the hell does she repeat it (but that question has been answered above).

Posted by: martin on April 30, 2009 at 9:11 AM | PERMALINK

FYI, the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act is held by many economists to have contributed to the deepening of the Great Depression.

Posted by: David W. on April 30, 2009 at 9:14 AM | PERMALINK

Is Bachmann part of some bad cop, good cop routine? Only in this case, it's crazy republican, crazier republican. How the hell else can Boehner and Cantor appear like rational beings unless you put this woman beside them?

Posted by: palinoscopy on April 30, 2009 at 9:20 AM | PERMALINK

Check out John Cole's site to buy K-Tel's new offering: Hoot Smalley - Songs of a Permanent Minority, featuring such timeless classics as "I'd Dip My Teabag In Your Harbor, Honey", as well as the foot stompin' tune, "Hooversville? Happyville!"

http://www.balloon-juice.com/?p=20601

Posted by: IanY77 on April 30, 2009 at 9:20 AM | PERMALINK

"Ferris Buehler" Don't know, but Jeffrey Jones in drag could reprise her as Edna Rooney.

Or, he could stand in for her in "Tax Lawyer Goes Beserk", a LifeTime special.

Posted by: berttheclock on April 30, 2009 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

Simple explanations for complex problems. The general concensus of economists when explaining things for the great unwashed is that the three most important drivers for the depth of the Great Depression were: The collapse of the bubble, a fed that forced the money supply to shrink, and protectionism (Smoot-Hawley in the USA).

Posted by: freelunch on April 30, 2009 at 9:27 AM | PERMALINK

Mr Byers, did you know Bachmann began her accounting studies at a college more known for producing nurses than liberal arts students? Horror of horrors, she could have become another "Nurse Ratchid", or perhaps she did. I would like to know how many of her tax clients ever were audited.

Posted by: berttheclock on April 30, 2009 at 9:27 AM | PERMALINK

berttheclock...
smoot-hawley was what ben stein was droning on about in "ferris bueller's day off."
i think it's also what mr. hand came to jeff spicoli's house to quiz him about before the prom, but i could be confusing that with the platt amendment.

Posted by: mellowjohn on April 30, 2009 at 9:29 AM | PERMALINK

i like how "hoot" and "smalley" faded away, each back into his own respective woodwork very shortly after they did their bit to destroy america...

a hoot-smalley reprise from bachman and co. would be nice.
or to say it so's the repubs can understand: "go away"

Posted by: neill on April 30, 2009 at 9:32 AM | PERMALINK

I don't know about all of you, but presonally I found her speaches far more edifying in the original German.

Posted by: Liam J on April 30, 2009 at 9:40 AM | PERMALINK

mellowjohn, thanks - Had forgotten that Ben moment - Still trying to get his columns of old for the Hearst chain out of my head - But, there is that slimyness of Bachmann which Jeffrey Jones conveys ever so well.

Posted by: berttheclock on April 30, 2009 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

I think a new catch phrase has been born! From now on, call something the wingnuts do a 'Hoot-Smalley' and we'll know exactly what that conveys.
Doin' a Hoot-Smalley.

Posted by: Varecia on April 30, 2009 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

Well Smoot-Hawley almost surely did make the Depression worse, though since other countries were doing it too I'm not sure how much worse.

Posted by: MNPundit on April 30, 2009 at 9:48 AM | PERMALINK

I wonder what would happen if someone was able to show her very slowly, explicitly, what the reality of 'hoot' was as opposed to her version.

It would probably be fun to watch. Can you say cognitive dissonance meltdown?

Posted by: Buford on April 30, 2009 at 9:54 AM | PERMALINK

I think everybody knows that when the Democrats blew up the Maine at Pearl Harbor, it led to the collapse of moral values that we see today.

Posted by: Conservatroll on April 30, 2009 at 9:54 AM | PERMALINK

Is anyone compiling a comprehensive list of all the Republican talking points that presume the existence of time travel technology? So far, off the top of my head, we have...

We need to invade Iraq right now, because of what he did 20 years ago;

The Troop Surge of 2007 was responsible for starting the Anbar Awakening four months earlier;

FDR was into fascist party iconography years before the founding of the Fascist Party in Italy;

Jimmy Carter was responsible for swine flu a year before he got into office;

And now this latest Depression / New Deal nonsense, which is already a rich vein for a lot of this stupid "time travel must exist in order for my argument to be right" Republican horseshit. But I'm positive I'm missing out on a lot of other examples. Anyone?

Posted by: DH Walker on April 30, 2009 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

"Hoot-Smalley" is an inspired Spoonerism, the term deriving from the name of a good reverend who was prone to reversing the initial letters of words in a phrase. His best one, delivered from the pulpit, was "Our Lord is a shoving leopard."

Posted by: Terry Weldon on April 30, 2009 at 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

Hoot-Smalley, Smoot-Hawley

When Michele B. speaks, it's always a smallish hoot.

Posted by: SRW1 on April 30, 2009 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

I wish people wouldn't call Bachmann crazy, loony, wacko, etc, when it is quite obvious that the woman is STUPID.

All of the above?

Posted by: Stetson Kennedy on April 30, 2009 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

What a lucking foser!

Posted by: John D'oh on April 30, 2009 at 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

I thought of a couple more (of course):

Obama is responsible for the DHS report about right-wing extremism commissioned 11 months before he took office;

Obama is responsible for the bank bailouts which started 5 months before he took office;

I'm sure there are dozens more instances of blaming Obama for things that started before he took office, or course...

Posted by: DH Walker on April 30, 2009 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

I am in the middle of reading The Lords of Finance, which is, I am sure, not sufficiently technical for a lot of people. But what really struck me was how much the Great Depression was precipitated in much the same way that our own modern bubbles have been precipitated by policymakers who are unwilling or unable to find a way to balance the needs of one part of the world without creating significant risks to another, if not the whole system. If the thesis of this book is correct, the problem faced by the U.S. in dealing with its own stock market bubble, and it was clearly understood even at the time as a bubble, was that it would seriously undermine post-war Europe. Eventually, it got so out of hand that everyone went down, but it brought home that in many cases, there isn't so much as a right answer as a policy determination of whose pain will lead to the fewest collateral consequences. And I figured that out even though I don't even have a fact checking staff!

Posted by: Barbara on April 30, 2009 at 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

Actually, Mr. Benen, if Ms. Bachmann were a performance artist she would qualify as one of the premier performance artists of all time. Karen Finley would have nothing on Bachmann Moron Overdrive. Seriously - Republican numbers are shrinking to a strikingly small percentage even as Bachmann gets more and more public with her increasingly disorganized rantings. Coincidence? Is Ms. Bachmann an extremely clever Colbert-type exercise in social influencing? Is she slyly, intentionally driving yet another nail into the coffin of that malevolent zombie known as modern conservatism? Or might she be seen as a very public instantiation of America's critical and attentional capacities, truly representative of the emotional and cognitive resources of a lobotomized electorate, asleep at the teat of comfort and convenience? In other words, does Ms. Bachmann actually represent the people of her district, and of America? Is she representative democracy in action? I think she is, and as much as she needs to be called on her insane inanity the larger, more salient issue is that she actually speaks and stands in for a disturbingly large percentage of this country's electorate.

Posted by: Conrads Ghost on April 30, 2009 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

That Michele Bachman is kind of hot in a Palin/Malkin/Coulter kind of way.

Well, as Meat Loaf sez, two outta three ain't bad.

Seriously, Coulter? What are you, Mark Foley? ;)

Posted by: DH Walker on April 30, 2009 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

Palin/Bachmann 2012: common sense for the common man... or woman :-)

Posted by: Carl Nyberg on April 30, 2009 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK

berttheclock:

Dude, I thought the stupidity of the statement spoke for itself. Perhaps I underestimated some.

Posted by: Bethie on April 30, 2009 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

Do you also notice she can't use the English language as would an educated person? Her syntax is more mangled than a Bush's. She sounds even dumber than Palin, and I didn't think that was possible.

Posted by: TCinLA on April 30, 2009 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

I think everybody knows that when the Democrats blew up the Maine at Pearl Harbor, it led to the collapse of moral values that we see today.

Posted by: Conservatroll on April 30, 2009 at 9:54 AM

That and the Nazi dinosaurs (see Mike Judge's "Idiocracy" for that one).

Posted by: Vincent on April 30, 2009 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

Bethie, as you posted that comment, yesterday, and I had not read Bachmann's remarks, I did not pick up on your irony - Sorry, Dude.

Posted by: berttheclock on April 30, 2009 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

This woman is clearly nuts. How did she even get elected?

I looked up the Smoot-Hawley on Wikipedia, just out of curiosity, and the article there mentions that FDR actually spoke out against this act while he was campaigning in 1932.

So not only was he NOT a champion of this bill and NOT in office when it was signed, but he (most likely) actively OPPOSED the bill. (And I only say "most likely" because the info came from Wikipedia...)

Posted by: Adrienne on April 30, 2009 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

You know, I'm willing to let Texas secede IF we can get the folks in Austin while giving them those in Bachmann's district.

After all, the idiots who keep re-electing this twit in Minnesota would probably love it down there.

Posted by: Mark D on April 30, 2009 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

Adrienne - not just Wikipedia. Charles Kindleberger's The World in Depression also mentions FDR's opposition to Smoot-Hawley:

In his 1932 presidential election campaign, Roosevelt attacked the tariff as a cause of the depression in a speech at Sioux City, Iowa, on September 29, 1932, accusing the [tariff] of having forced other countries off gold by preventing them from paying their debts in goods...Roosevelt went on to claim that when they ran out of gold, foreign countries sent more goods, which meant that tariffs had the effect of lowering prices rather than the usual one of raising them.

Posted by: John on April 30, 2009 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

In all fairness, the Smoot-Hawley boogeyman is a load of shit.

Total GDP in 1929 was 103 billion dollars. Exports in 1929 accounted for 5.9 billion dollars of GDP, with imports accounting for 5.6B. So the US had a trade surplus accounting for around 0.3B of the GDP.

By 1932, exports were at 2 billion dollars of GDP, and imports at 1.9B. Meaning between 1929 and 1932, imports/exports fell by over 3B. A good chunk of money in the 1930s.

However, GDP in that year was 58.7 billion dollars. So it went from 103B to just under 59B, a loss of almost 44 billion dollars.

This makes it hard for me to accept the argument that the Smoot-Hawley Tarrif played anything but a very minor role in worsening the Great Depression.

Posted by: 2Manchu on April 30, 2009 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

She's a product of home schooling and a very narrow college education. The religious right champions home schooling so that their children won't be tainted by the secular world. They are insulated from anyone or anything that is contrary to their worldview. She is for real. She probably has had no contact with minorities and no history that hasn't been sanitized for her. Critical thinking is discouraged because that might lead the faithful away from their emotion-based beliefs. Talk about "re-education camps".

One of the reasons the Republicans were so incensed about the Service Corps. is that evangelical youth might be inclined to volunteer. Then they would actually see the real world. That would be "re-education" for them. After all, they don't go to college because they might "lose their faith".

Yes, there are a lot of evangelicals out there who will believe MB just because she is one of them. She doesn't care what the rest of us think.

Posted by: Always Hopeful on April 30, 2009 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

I'd be embarrassed if I lived in her district. Especially since she clearly demonstrated her paranoia and lack of intellectual capacity just before the 08 election,so voters have no excuse for not knowing what she really is.

Posted by: REN on April 30, 2009 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

People voted for her. I just cannot wrap my brain around that.

Posted by: doubtful on April 30, 2009 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

Hoot, Smoot, Hawley, Smalley.... politics is HARD!

Posted by: Barbie on April 30, 2009 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

One of the problems with egomaniacal idiots - like Palin, Bachmann, Cantor, Bohner - is that they are too vain to hire staff that is smarter then they are.

Obviously, all these folks have gotten bad research info from their speech writers, but neither they nor their researchers are smart enough to know how inaccurate and just plain dumb they make themselves look.

And they just keep doing it, which is mind boggling.

Posted by: Marnie on April 30, 2009 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

I live in MN and have observed her for some time now. You can debate whether she's crazy or not. But it's pretty clear the woman is dumb as a post.

Posted by: OC on April 30, 2009 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK
But of particular interest is Bachmann's belief that FDR passed "the Hoot-Smalley Act" and that "took a recession and blew it into a full-scale depression." First, the name of the law was "Smoot-Hawley." Second, it's a real stretch to argue that it was responsible for the Great Depression. And third, the Smoot-Hawley bill was championed by Republicans and signed by Herbert Hoover, FDR's Republican predecessor.

Two out of these three things are true. The one about it being a stretch to connect Smoot-Hawley to the Depression, OTOH, is less true. If anything, the statement that it turned the recession into a Depression is quite possibly an understatement; while Smoot-Hawley was passed after the stock market collapse, the anticipation of it passing was quite clearly the proximate cause of tariffs adopted by a number of other countries (in some cases, it was specifically cited as a circumstance which necessitated the tariffs) which served as barriers to trade and which are quite arguably the cause of both the recession and the stock market crash itself.

It would be better to acknowledge that Smoot-Hawley certainly deepened and may, merely by being on the radar, have actually caused the recession that became the Depression, and focus on correcting the real error in the piece (aside from screwing up the name), that of attributing Smoot-Hawley to FDR.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 30, 2009 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

What district does Bachmann represent? Do the houses there still rely primarily on lead plumbing fixtures? I'm more interested in understanding the type of people who could keep reelecting this trainwreck to Congress.

Posted by: jonas on April 30, 2009 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

the truly sad thing, that I haven't seen anyone mention yet, is that there was a bad recession in the early 1920s (a book on the stock market that I read recently that was written in 1926 referred to it as a "Depression", in fact), HOWEVER, what is most unfortunate for Ms Bachman is that the early 1920s recession was very brief and it peaked in 1921 and was over by 1922.

Unfortunately for Ms Bachman, Coolidge didn't become President until 1923.

WHOOPS!

Posted by: andy on April 30, 2009 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

David,

"FYI, the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act is held by many economists to have contributed to the deepening of the Great Depression."

First off, the legislation was titled the 'Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act'.

Second, between 1921 and 1929, the tariff rate rose from 29% to 40%, yet the Unemployment Rate fell from 11% down to 3%, while GNP, profits, earnings, productivity, and stock prices all SOARED. Hence the "Roaring Twenties" moniker.

It is ludicrous to claim that raising tariffs in 1930 contributed to the Great Depression in any regard.

Posted by: Joe Friday on April 30, 2009 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

I imagine that Bachman, like many hard-right folks, seem to believe that if something bad happened, it's just self-evident that it was done by a Democrat. The thought that a Republican could do something which had bad consequences (or that a Democrat could do something that turns out well) is as ridiculous as thinking that a dog could do calculus. Simply impossible.

With that "knowledge", she invents a reality that comports to this idea.

Posted by: TG Chicago on April 30, 2009 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

"wasn't as bad as the recession Coolidge had to deal with in the early '20s."

She seems to think Coolidge was president from 1921 on. Harding (who was actually president) is forgotten.

Posted by: David Margolies on April 30, 2009 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

We need a robust two party system because, if the Republicans fade away without replacement, the Democrats are going to wind up looking the way the PRI looked in Mexico during the 20th century.

And if you don't believe me, then explain Harry Reid and Evan Bayh. Explain why "bipartisanship" is not a joke. Explain why banks have so much influence. Why serious reform must bow to "what can be done in Washington" or "what can get through Congress.

If the Democrats were a genuine reform party, none of these would be issues.

Posted by: Duncan Kinder on April 30, 2009 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

TG Chicago: My dog can't do calculus,to my knowledge, but I believe I can safely say that the quality of her intellect is on a par with Michelle Bachman. Your comment hits the nail on the head, she makes the facts conform to her views by any mental gymnastics necessary.

Posted by: REN on April 30, 2009 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

From the website of the Minesota Secretary of State. "Common Loon (Gavia immer)

The loon (Gavia immer) became Minnesota’s state bird in 1961. It is known also as the common loon." So, that explains it.

Posted by: Greg Worley on April 30, 2009 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

That's it. I'm sending her all the money I no longer spend taking my kids to the circus (they're too old for that now). I want her never to be turned out of office.

Now I'm going out for some cotton candy.

Posted by: jprichva on April 30, 2009 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

Rep. Bachmann is an embarassment on so many levels it's hard to keep count.

#1 - The NBER lists 4 contractions in the Post WWI/Roaring Twenties period.

August 1918 - March 1919
January 1920 - July 1921
May 1923 - July 1924
October 1926 - November 1927

#2 Wilson was President for the first and most of the second contraction. However, the early contractions had far more to do with post war excess capacity than any administration policies.

Coolidge wasn't President until August 1923 - apparently Bachmann never heard of Warren Harding, who ushered in an era of US isolationism that didn't end until WWII. The two recessions Coolidge dealt with are generally considered mild and probably caused by oil shocks. Regarding Tariffs, the Underwood-Simmons Act under Wilson lowered average Tariffs while the Emergency Tariff Act (1921) and Fordney-McCumber Tariff (1922) raised them, the latter increasing protectionism in many respects more than Smoot-Hawley.

Sorry for the tome. Bachmann gets me fired up.

The "roar" of the 1920s was fueled by rising productivity, new or relatively new industries (cars, radio, etc) and cheap labor. Union membership declined from roughly 18 million in 1920 to 3.5 million in 1929. Average labor productivity grew over 5% ANNUALLY while wages for skilled and unskilled manufacturing workers grew less than 1% and those in the large farm sector actually declined 18% over the period.

Rep. Bachmann would probably love to return to a period when productivity was high, corporate profits were high and workers langusihed. Come to think about it, wasn't that the BUSH years?

Posted by: Bobreply on April 30, 2009 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

Was there no one to stand up after her comments to correct and refute her ignorance. It would be only natural for someone to say it was Smoot-Hawley not Hoot- Smalley...it was a repub. bill passed by Hoover 3yrs before FDR took office. That alone should have turned her face red and brought huge laughter from the floor. Is it because her colleagues feel pity for her and her insanity.

Electing insane people happens but when they continue to show you they are insane, it's time to get them some help and out of such an important position as enacting legislation that affects the entire country. Bachmann is a raving lunatic barely in touch with reality on a daily basis.

Posted by: bjobotts on April 30, 2009 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

The whole of the Bachmann quote was derived from points laid out in Amity Schlaes' book. The fact that this thread stretched to 71 comments without anybody apparently noticing is a tribute to Bachmann's lack of comprehension of basic GOP talking points.

Posted by: dr sardonicus on April 30, 2009 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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